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T. H. BALL, 

Historical Secretary of the Old Settlers' Association of 

Lake County, Indiana; 
Honorary member of Lake County Teachers 9 Association; ' 

Active Member of Indiana Academy of Science; 
Corresponding Member of Wisconsin State Historical 

Honorary Member of Trinity Historical Society of Texas. 

Author of 

Lake County, 1834-1872, 
Lake of the lied Cedars, 
Clarke County, A labama, 
Notes on Luke's Gospel 
Poems and Hymns 
Annie D., &c.,&c. 

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Member of Mississippi State Historical 

Member of Alabama State Historical 

Contributor to American 

Contributor to Alabama 
Historical Reporter. 

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1813 AND 1814. 


H. S. HALBERT and T. H. BALL. 




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% \3 

*• • • » » 
• ••- 

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Copyright, 1895, 


H. 8. HALBERT and T. II BALL. 


Printers and Binders, 


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WHEN this work was commenced, several years 
ago, it was not expected that it would 
become in size what it has grown to be. It was 
then expected only to give facts in regard to the 
Creek war as connected with the white settlers in 
what is now South Alabama, giving especially a 
fuller account of the attack on Fort Sinquefield with 
other gathered reminiscences and traditions. But 
when large libraries were examined and many his- 
torical works were consulted, and so little that was 
really reliable could be found in regard to that bor- 
der war, and its real beginning seeming to be alto- 
gether unknown to Northern writers, it was thought 
best to make thorough research and to prepare a 
somewhat voluminous work for the sake of those, or 
for the use of those, who, in years to come, in the 
North as well as in the South, might justly be 
expected to be interested in a *work as full, and, in 
some respects, as minute in details, as this. 

If, therefore, any readers should think that some 
of the chapters, as those in regard to Tecumseh and 
Fort Mims, are more full than was needful, or that, 
in some others, too many personal, biographical inci- 
dents and sketches or notes are given, let them 
please bear in mind that the work is designed for 
more than one class of readers; let the more critical 
charitably trust that there will be some readers 
interested in the minute details and the apparent 




digressions; and let all who may read rest assured 
that the authors have, with the idea of different 
classes of readers before their minds, endeavored 
faithfully to obtain and impartially to present his- 
toric truth. 

November 10, 1804. 

Well may the inhabitants of Alabama, especially, 
say in regard to the Eed men, 

"Though 'mid the forests where they roved, 

There rings no hunter's shout, 
Yet their names are on our waters, 
And we may not wash them out;" 

for well, of the Indian tongue, as speaking in the 
flowing waters, does an Alabama poet say, 

" Tis heard where Chattahoochee pours 

His yellow tide along; 
It sounds on Tallapoosa's shores, 

And Coosa swells the song; 
Where lordly Alabama sweeps, 

The symphony remains; 
And young Cahawba proudly keeps 

The echo of its strains; 
Where Tuscaloosa's waters glide, 

Prom stream and town 'tis heard, 
And dark Tombeckbee's winding tide 

Repeats the olden word; 
Afar, where Nature brightly wreathed 

Fit Edens for the free, 
Along Tuscumbia's bank 'tis breathed, 

By stately Tennessee; 
And south, where, from Conecuh's springs, 

Escambia's waters steal, 
The ancient melody still rings,— 

From Tensaw and Mobile." 

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Chapter I. The Choctaw-Mu&cogee Tribes. 

Chapter II. Causes of the Creek War. 

Chapter III. Tecumseh among the Ohickasaws and 

Chapter IV. Tecumseh among the Creeks. 

Chapter V. The War Cloud Gathering. 

Chapter VI. The Stockades. 

Chapter VII. Inter-Tribal Councils of the Creeks and 
the Choctaws. - 

Chapter VIII. The Battle of Burnt Corn. 

Chapter IX. FortMims. 

Chapter X. The Kimbell-James Massacre. 

Chapter XI. Attack on Fort Sinquefield. 

Chapter XII. The Night Courier. 

Chapter XIII. Incidents of the War in the Fork. 

Chapter XIV. Choctaws and Chickasaws join th# 
American Army. 

Chapter XV. The Bashi Skirmish. 

Chapter XVI. Beard and Tandy Walker. 

Chapter XVII. The Canoe Fight. 

Chapter XVIII. Battle of the Holy Ground. 

Chapter XIX. The War in the Indian Country. 

Chapter XX. Closing Events, 1814. 


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THIS work proposes to give as accurate an 
account as can now be obtained from written 
and printed records, from traditions, and from 
personal observation, of that portion of American 
history known as the Creek War of 1813 and 1814. 

Of these Creek Indians says Brewer, author of 
a history of Alabama: "In 1813 and 1814 they 
waged the bloodiest war against the whites any- 
where recorded in the annals of the United States." 

Says Meek, one of Alabama's talented orators 
and poets : " Time as it passed on and filled these 
solitudes with settlers, at last brought the most 
sanguinary era in Alabama history." 

And Pickett, recognized as Alabama's leading 
historian, says : " Everything foreboded the exter- 
mination of the Americans in Alabama, who were 
the most isolated and defenseless people imagin- 

The reader who comes to our "Conclusion" 
may be disposed to change Brewer's statement ; 
but he will not question the statements of Pickett 
and Meek. 

But this work does not propose to give in full 
that part of the conflict waged in the Indian coun- 
try which broke the power of the fierce Muscogees ; 
but rather that part which has not been as yet so 
fully given, connected with the white settlers in 
what is now South Alabama. This portion of our 


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14 * ' ' ' - INTRODUCTION. 

"Ataferfeatr : histoii7, as connected with Indian border 
warfare, the authors of this work believe will be 
given more accurately and fully than has ever been 
done before. They propose to do justice to the 
Indians and justice to the whites. 

For this portion of history they hope to make 
this work an authority. And for this they suggest 
the possession of some special fitness; 

H. S. Halbert is a member of the State Historical 
Societies of Alabama and Mississippi. He was born in 
Alabama, and was, in a great measure, educated by 
the late Dr. J. H. Eaton, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 
He spent a portion of his early manhood in Indian 
campaigns on the western frontier, where he became 
familiar with the sight of the wild warrior with his 
bow and quiver, his paint and feathers ; and there 
be conceived an abiding interest in the strange his- 
tory and destiny of the American Indians. He has 
also been not a little among the civilized tribes of 
the Indian Territory. After four years of service in 
the Confederate army, he was for a number of years 
engaged in teaching in Texas, Mississippi, and Ala- 
bama. While pursuing his profession in the two 
latter states he devoted much of his leisure to histor- 
ical researches. He visited the homes and inter- 
viewed some surviving soldiers and contemporaries 
of the Creek war of 1813 and noted down their 
varied recollections, thereby collecting much new 
material for the history of that war. He was espe- 
cially fortunate in securing from these aged survivors 
a full account of the attack on Fort Sinquefield, of 
which only a meagre sketch is recorded in the his- 
tories of Meek and Pickett. 

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For a number of years past he has been engaged 
in educational work among the Choctaws of Missis- 
sippi, with whose language, customs,and traditions he 
is familiar. From the immediate descendants of some 
of Pushmataha's warriors he has been enabled to res- 
cue from oblivion a number of incidents in the career 
of that noted Mingo, and many facts in regard to 
Tecumseh's Southern visit. He has, in short, been 
interested largely for years in studies and investiga- 
tions connected with the Southern Indians, and has 
visited in person and examined with care the Burnt 
Corn and Holy Ground battlefields. The Alabama 
Historical Reporter for January, 1885, said : " Mr. 
H. S. Halbert is now doing more than any man in 
the South, perhaps, in collecting everything con- 
nected with the Southern Indians in the shape of 
history, tradition, romance, legend, etc." 

T. H. Ball had an early home in the state of 
Georgia, before 1833, not far from the Savannah 
River, and learned some of the customs and ways of 
the South ; but in 1837, when eleven years of age, 
his home was transferred to the then almost unten- 
anted solitudes of Northwestern Indiana (where the 
great prairie region of the West joined the wood- 
land growth that extended to the Atlantic) and to 
the banks of a beautiful lake in the region then but 
lately occupied by the Pottawatomie Indians, some 
thirty-six miles from the old Fort Dearborn of Lake 
Michigan, some seventy-two miles from the Tippe- 
canoe battle ground. He gained in those years of 
boyhood some knowledge of the Indians — Indians 
that had been associated with French missionaries 
and with fur traders — as he saw them in their wig* 

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warns, on their ponies, in their large birch-bark 
canoes, and when returning from the chase, and took 
a deep interest in Indian history and in pioneer and 
hunter life. His young footsteps followed the wild 
game and his rifle secured it where his almost 
immediate predecessors had been Indian hunters. 

From 1851 to 1855 he resided as a teacher in 
Clarke county, Alabama, and was there again no 
small part of the time in 1859 and 1860, and from 
1874 to 1883. With the region around the old Fort 
Sinquefield he became thoroughly familiar, exam- 
ined carefully the location of Fort Madison and Fort 
Glass, saw the location of Fort White, and became 
well acquainted with all that early center of white 
settlement and of once crowded stockades. 

Eggleston relies much upon Meek for localities and 
for facts in Clarke county, saying that he was fa- 
miliar with that region. But neither Meek, nor even 
Pickett, seems to have had any personal knowledge 
. of that fifteen hundred square miles of area now con- 
stituting Clarke county, Alabama. No other writer 
on this portion of history, has, so far as appears, 
been on the very ground of these forts and so has 
had a personal knowledge of the geography and 
topography of this region. Knowledge thus gained, 
and applied in some portions of this history, is what 
is meant by "personal observation" in the first sen- 
tence of this "Introduction." And not only did this 
writer have an opportunity to examine these localities 
well, but he was an inmate for several months in the 
home of Major Austill of the Canoe Fight, then re- 
siding near the old Fort Carney, was well acquaint- 
ed with Isham Kimbell, Esq., a survivor of the 

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Kimbell-James massacre, and with others who as 
men and women or as children were in the differ- 
ent forts, and who passed through the trying scenes 
of the summer and fall of 1813. 

In a valuable history of Indiana, by DeWitt 01 
Goodrich and Professor Charles R. Tuttle, a table is 
given, with names and dates, of "Sixteen American 
Wars." Among these are named King Philip's 1677, 
Tecumseh's 1811, First Seminole 1817, Black 
Hawk's 1832, Second Seminole 1845; but of the Creek 
War no mention is made. Did the writers forget 
that war? Or did they consider it of no importance? 

That the Creek war should be better known at the 
South than in the North is natural; and that there, 
at least, it should be considered quite as deserving of 
a name and place among American Wars as Black 
Hawk's War or <es Tecumseh's, is also natural. But 
surely the time has come, especially now, since that 
gathering of the millions on Lake Michigan's shore 
at the Columbian Exposition, the great World's Fair 
of 1893, when those who read and study our his- 
tory in all parts of the land should be restricted to 
no localities and influenced by no prejudices in look- 
ing at our various conflicts with the Indian tribes. 

The youth of the South should know something 
of the Pequods and the Narragan setts and of King 
Philip and of Black Hawk and of Pontiac, as should 
those of the North of Weatherford and of Big War- 
rior, and of Choctaws, Seminoles, and Muscogees. 

Of the authors of this history it may be noticed 
that one was born in New England and the other 
in the South; that one was with the Confederates in 
that war that opened in 1861, and the other was, in 

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the years of that strife in New England and Indiana, 
graduating at the Newton Theological Institution in 
1863, standing constantly under "the stars and 
stripes;" that both have spent years in the South and 
have many friends there; and that both, as true 
Americans, and as interested in all facts connected 
with the aboriginees of this country, having devoted 
years of life to teaching, have here united their ef- 
forts to prepare for those who are now and who are 
yet to be, in the East and the West, in the North 
Central States and in the South, a readable, a full, an 
accurate account of that truly "bloody 55 Creek War. 
These statements are made as suggesting that the 
writer* of this volume, both as free as any who can 
easily be found from local and educational prejudices 
and favoritisms, each having pursued his own line 
of research, are not without some special qualifica- 
tions for the work which they have undertaken. 

H. S. H. 

T. H. B. 

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THE Creek War of 1813 and 1814 is remarkable 
from the fact that all the branches of what 
ethnologists style the Choctaw-Muscogee stock of 
Indians were involved therein and took a part, on 
one side or the other, of that bloody conflict. As 
these tribes acted a prominent part in the early 
history of the Gulf States, a brief notice of their 
topographic location and ethnic affinite^ may, 
perhaps, be of interest to the general reader. 

From incontrovertible linguistic evidence, it is 
certain that the habitat of the tribes composing the 
Choctaw-Muscogee family was much the same in 
the days of De Soto, in 1540, as it was in more 
recent historical times. If the Creeks, or any or 
all their congeners, ever migrated from Mexico, it 
must have been centuries before the advent of the 
Spanish invader. Whatever may be thought of Le 
Clerc Milfort's migration legend, the fact stands 
that De Soto found towns bearing Muscogee names 
in Alabama. Dr. A. S. Gatschet, the distinguished 
Indianologist, after a thorough study of the dialects 
of the Choctaw-Muscogee tribes, has subdivided the 
family into four branches. 

The first and most prominent of these branches 
is the Creeks or Muscogees proper, whose settle- 


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ments were upon the Ooosa, the Tallap6osa, and the 
Chattahoochee. During the entire existence of the 
Creek Confederacy in Alabama, those living on the 
Coosa and Tallapoosa bore the appellation of Upper 
Creeks, whilst those on the Chattahoochee were 
known as Lower Creeks. The Seminoles of Florida 
are only a body of seceded Muscogees. 

The second branch is the Hitchitees, whose 
towns were on the Chattahoochee, and who, living 
nearer the Lower Creeks, were assigned to that polit- 
ical division of the Creek Confederacy. The 
Mickasukees of Leon county, Florida, are an off- 
shoot of the Hitchitees and speak the same lan- 
guage. The Apalachees, who were a numerous 
and powerful people in Florida in the days of De 
Narvaez and De Soto, spoke a language closely 
related to that of the Hitchitees. The last remnant 
of the Apalachees were living in Louisiana, in 1830, 
numbering forty six souls — perhaps, now, all 

The third branch is the Alibamos and Coshat- 
tees, (less correct form Ooosawdas,) whose homes 
were mostly situated on the Alabama Eiver, just 
below the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. 
Politically, these two tribes belonged to the Upper 
Creeks. When the French abandoned Fort Tou- 
louse, in 1763, many of the Alibamos followed them 
across the Mississippi into Louisiana. These seceders 
eventually settled in Polk county, Texas, where they 
have a settlement to this day. Towards the close 
of the eighteenth century, many of the Coshattees 
also emigrated west and finally settled near the 
Alibamos. The language of both tribes is substan- 

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tially the same. The Alibamos that remained in 
their native seats occupied, at the outbreak of the 
war of 1813, six villages, viz : Wetumka, situated on 
the Coosa, Muklasa, on the Tallapoosa, Ecunchattee, 
now a part of the city of Montgomery, Towassa 
on the same side of the river, three miles below 
Ecunchattee, Pawoktee, two miles below Towassa, 
and Autaugee, four miles below Pawoktee, but on 
the north bank of the river and near the mouth of 
a creek of the same name. The language of the 
Alibamos approximates nearer to the Choctaw than 
to the Muscogee, and their tribal name is undoubt- 
edly of Choctaw origin and signifies Vegetation- 
gatherers, i.e. gatherers of vegetation in clearing land 
for agricultural purposes. Alba, vegetation, amo, 
gather. From this tribe, the Alabama River received 
its name, and the state, from the river. Alibamo is 
the correct form of the word, having,as noted above, 
the prosaic signification of vegetation-gatherer ; for 
modern research has forever annihilated the romance 
of Here we rest. The Coshattees, the kinsfolk of 
the Alibamos, lived, in 1813, on the northern bank 
of the Alabama River, three miles below the conflu- 
ence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa. The present 
American town of Coosauda occupies the site of 
the, old Coshattee town. 

The fourth or western branch of the Choctaw- 
Muscogee stock of Indians are the Choctaws and 
Chickasaws, whose homes were mostly in the present 
state of Mississippi, the Choctaws occupying the 
central and southern, and the Chickasaws, the north- 
ern part. Both tribes speak the same language. 
The country between the Tombigbee and the Black 

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Warrior, from time immemorial, had been disputed 
territory between the Choctaws and the Creeks, 
though Choctaw settlements, more or less tran- 
sitory, always existed on the east side of the 

There is no doubt but the territory of the Choc- 
taws, in the days of De Soto, extended farther to the 
east than in more recent times. The people of the 
town of Mauvila, destroyed by De Soto, were of 
Choctaw lineage, as is evidenced by the name of their 
chief, Tascalusa, Black Warrior. Mauvila, too, may be 
the Choctaw Moelih,apluralof action, signifying to 
row, to paddle, to scull, and the inhabitants of the 
town, as we may conjecture, may have received this 
name, the rowers, in consequence of their riparian sit- 
uation, which necessitated a constant use of boats in 
navigating the river. Mobile, a French abbreviated 
corruption of Mauvila, is called by the modern Choc- 
taws, Mo-il-la, a form bearing a close resemblance to 
both Mauvila and Moelih.* The people of the 
province of Pafallaya were also Choctaws — a fact 
attested by the name itself — Pafallaya, by elision 
from Pashfallaya, the long-haired. 

The Chickasaws, who occupied not only North 
Mississippi, but also a part of Northwest Alabama, 
were a more martial people than their Choctaw kin- 
dred. No enemy, white or red, ever defeated them 
in battle. They made a fierce resistance to the in- 
vasion of De Soto and their subsequent wars with 
the French have added a luminous chapter to the 
annals of the Southwest. 

* In Moelih oe must not be considered a diphthong. Both vowels 
must be separately and distinctly pronounced. H. S. H. 

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But not all the peoples living within the territo- 
rial bounds of the Choctaw-Muscogee tribes were of 
kindred blood. Living within and forming a com- 
ponent part of the Creek Confederacy were some 
allophylic elements. fThe Uchees, who claim to be 
the most ancient inhabitants of the country and 
whose language has no affinity with any other Amer- 
ican tongue, were, in the eighteenth century, "incor- 
porated into the Confederacy and enrolled as Lower 
Creeks. In like manner, among the Upper Creeks, 
were enrolled many Shawnees,a people of the Algon- 
quin stock. Sawanogee, on the Tallapoosa, was a 
Shawnee town, subject to the Creek laws. A rem- 
nant of the celebrated Natchez tribe also lived among 
the Upper Creeks, having a village on Tallahatchee 
Creek, a tributary of the Coosa. 

Of the Choctaw-Muscogee tribes, the Creeks, or 
Muscogees proper, stood pre-eminent over all the 
others, not only for prowess in war, but for political 
sagacity. The beginning of their famous Confederacy 
is lost in the depths of antiquity. The Muscogees, it 
seems, having gained, in ancient times, a supremacy 
over the contiguous tribes, adopted the custom of 
receiving into a political system tribes that they had 
subjugated in war, or else, broken or fugitive tribes 
that applied to them for protection. A district was 
forthwith assigned to the new allies, who were al- 
lowed to retain the use of their own language and 
customs, but were required to furnish aid for the 
maintenance and defense of the Confederacy. To- 
wards the close of the eighteenth century a tradition 
was current among the Creeks that the Alibamos 
were the first tribe received into the Confederacy, 

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then theOoshattees, then the Natchez, and last, the 
Uchees and Shawnees. 

When the French first came in contact with the 
Southern Indians, early in the eighteenth century 
the Creek Confederacy already had a vigorous exis- 
tence. Its power continually strengthened, until, in 
the early years of the nineteenth century, it stood 
forth,* able to confront, for near ten months, the 
trained armies of the Federal Government and to 
threaten even the very existence of the numerous 
American communities within the present states of 
Mississippi and Alabama. 

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THE part of Alabama, with which, mainly, this 
work has to do, has had a peculiar history and 
also some peculiar inhabitants. It may be well to 
rehearse briefly this history. 

Every well informed American knows that Spain 
at first claimed and afterwards held Florida by 
46 right of discovery*" and its northern boundarj' 
was undefined ; that Georgia, as the last of the thir- 
teen colonies, was settled by the English in 1733; and 
that the French came down the Mississippi as early as 
1682, and claimed from the Great Lakes to the Gulf. 
In 1763 France ceded to Great Britain nearly all her 
claims east of the Mississippi and Spain ceded Flor- 
ida to Great Britain.* The English divided Florida 
into two provinces, calling one East and the other 
West Florida. The latter extended as far north as 
latitude 3%° 28', which was the southern boundary 
of the English province called Illinois. As early as 
1700-1699 — the French commencing settlements on 
Mobile Bay, claimed what is now Alabama, and 
they held it for sixty-four years. They made 

*rhe year 1763, the young reader will remember, marked the 
close of the French and Indian war by the treaty of Paris. 

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some settlements up the Mobile and Tensaw rivers. 
In 1777 Anglo-Saxon or American settlements com- 
menced along these rivers and up the Tombigbee. 
In 1783 West Florida went again into the posses- 
sion of Spain, and the Spanish officials did not retire 
south of latitude 31° until 1799. During the War 
of the Kevolution, and so long as Spanish rule con- 
tinued, this river region attracted settlers from the 
Carolinas who were not satisfied with American 
independence. But after 1800, following the royal- 
ists or tories, came also the loyal and true American 
pioneers. The flags of three nations therefore, of 
France, of England, and of Spain, had waved over 
the waters of these rivers before the stars and stripes, 
in 1799 were here unfurled. 

Before proceeding further in the history we may 
look at some of the peculiar inhabitants. 

Of this whole south-eastern portion of the coun- 
try a characteristic feature was, in the latter part of 
the eighteenth century, the residence of white trad- 
ers in every large Indian town, and at points well 
adapted for commerce and for intrigue. At Fort 
Toulouse on the Coosa river, established by the 
French in 1714, Captain Marchand was at one time 
commander. He was killed there in 1722. He had 
taken as a wife a Muscogee or Creek maiden of the 
Clan of the Wind, called the most powerful clan of 
the Creek nation. He had a beautiful daughter 
called Sehoy Marchand. 

There came from a wealthy home in Scotland a 
youth of sixteen to see the wonders of this land. 
His name was Lachlan McGillivray. He landed in 
Carolina, joined the Indian traders about 1735, saw 

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at length the young Sehoy Marchand, "cheerful 
in countenance, bewitching in looks, and graceful in 
form," then herself about sixteen years of age, mar- 
ried her, some say about 1745, when he had gained 
some property, spent nearly fifty years as Indian 
trader and Georgia royalist in the American wilds, 
left his Indian children and his plantations, when 
the British left Savannah, about 1782, and returned 
to his native land, taking with him " a vast amount 
of money and movable effects." But of his Indian 
children, part Indian, part Scotch, part French, one, 
Alexander McGillivray, became noted, wealthy, and 
powerful. He was well educated at Charleston. 
He returned to the Indian country, took control of 
the Creek nation, received from the British the rank 
and pay of a British colonel in the War of the Rev- 
olution, ii\ 1784 went to Pensacola and made a 
treaty with Spain as being " Emperor" of the Creeks 
and Seminoles, in 1790 at New York made a treaty 
with the American government receiving the rank 
of brigadier- general with a salary of twelve hun- 
dred dollars a year, and afterwards was appointed 
by Spain Superintendent-General of the Creek na- 
tion with a salary of two thousand dollars a year, 
which was increased in July, 1792, to thirty-five 
hundred. He was at the same time a member of a 
wealthy commercial house. He died in Pensacola 
February 17, 1793. One of his sisters, the beautiful 
and talented Sophia McGillivray, married Benjamin 
Durant, who was of Huguenot descent, who came 
from South Carolina and as early as 1786 was 
settled on the Alabama River. Another Indian 
trader, Charles Weatherford, some say from Scot- 
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land, some say from England, married a balf sister 
of Alexander McGillivray, the daughter of a chief 
of pure Indian blood, who had been formerly mar- 
ried to Colonel Tate, at one time a British officer at 
Fort Toulouse. We find here therefore the names 
of Tate, Durant, Weatherford, and McGillivray, as 
members of connected families of mixed blood, 
talented, wealthy, influential, with whom, as indivi- 
duals, in the Creek-War history we shall become 
further acquainted. A number of other noted 
border men there were who need not here be named. 
But one more name should not be omitted. 

. General Le Clerc Milfort, a well educated 
Frenchman, was among the Muscogees from 1776 
to 1796, and he also married a sister of Alexander 
McGillivray, who was sometimes called Colonel 
and in later life General McGillivray. Milfort was 
for some time a noted war chief among these Indians. 
He returned to France and published at Paris in 
1802 a work known as "Gen. Milfort's Creek 
Indians." It does not appear that he left among 
the Indians any descendants 

Mention has already been made of the settle- 
ment of this part of the early West Florida, which 
became a part of the Mississippi Territory as that 
was organized in 1798 as far south as the thirty-first 
parallel of north latitude and extending north, as 
has been stated, to latitude 32° 28'.* Spanish and 
British plantations had been along these rivers 
where indigo was largely cultivated, Spanish grants 
of land had been made to settlers, and French, 

* Or from the mouth of the Yazoo River due east to the Chat' 

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Spanish, and British royalists had all become, in 
some sort, Americans. 

In 1799, May 5th, Lieutenant McLeary, for the 
United States, took possession of the old Fort St. 
Stephens on the Tombigbee Eiver, the Spanish gar- 
rison marching out and descending the river below 
latitude 31°, the boundary lyie, this parallel, then hav- 
ing been but recently surveyed. In July of that year 
Fort Stoddart* was established, three miles below 
the union of the Alabama and Tombigbee rivers, five 
by water, and about six above the Spanish line. Here 
was built a stockade with one bastion. Already, in 
Spanish times, quite a settlement had been made on 
Lake Tensaw, just east of the Alabama and the Cut 
Off and JNannahubba Island, largely by tories, where 
was opened' 4 the first American school "in what 
became Alabama, John Pierce teacher, probably in 

1799. gays Pickett: " There the high-blood descend- 
ants of Lachlan McGillivray — the Taits, Weather- 
fords, and Durants — the aristocratic Linders, the 
wealthy Mims, and the children of many others first 
learned to read. The pupils were strangely mixeU 
in blood, and their color was of every hue."f 

These early white settlements, including those of 
mixed blood, were on lands which the Indians had 
ceded to the British and Spanish authorities, and 
which, when Washington county was formed in June, 

1800, belonged to the United States. Says Judge 

♦Written at first Stoddert. 

t Captain John Linder was a native of Switzerland. He 
had been in Charleston as a British surveyor. .He was aided by 
General McGillivray to settle with his family and a large num- 
ber of colored servants at Tensaw Lake in the time of the Revo- 

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Meek: "The various treaties of the French, British, and 
Spanish with the Indians made this region the resort 
of the first emigrants. The experiences of this back- 
woods life, for more than twenty years, were quite 
as singular and wonderful as those of Boone and 
Kenton in Kentucky, or Sevier and Robertson in 

These settlements, taking Judge Meek's quota- 
tion from the American State Papers, were " thinly 
scattered along the western banks of the Mobile and 
Tombigbee for more than seventy miles, and extend- 
ing nearly seventy-five mites upon the eastern bor- 
ders of the Mobile and Alabama." For some time 
there was no actual civil government ; there were no 
magistrates, no ministers, no marriage ceremonies. 
The young people were accustomed to marry them- 
selves, that is they paired off, like birds, and lived 
together as husband and wife. Instead of weddings 
they had what were called pairings. 

The reader may begin to think that the re- 
hearsal of the history of this region with the notices 
of the peculiar inhabitants is not very brief ; but 
surely the young reader, at least, will not object to 
this note, in which we will take a glance at a home 
where a very different scene will appear by and by. 
I quote : — (The authority is Pickett, but not his 

" An instance is recorded of one couple who ob- 
served a little more form than the others. It was 
Christmas night of 1800. Daniel Johnson and Miss 
Elizabeth Linder, at Lake Tensaw, were acknow- 
ledged lovers. He was poor and she an heiress, so 
her parents objected, even in those wilds, to the 
4 pairing.' A large party were that night assem- 

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bled at the house of Samuel Mims, and among these 
were the two lovers, enjoying the dance, the music, 
the festivities. During the evening a few young 
people, Johnson and Miss Linder among them, 
secretly left the house, embarked on board of some 
canoes, paddled down the lake and down the 
Alabama, and arrived at Fort Stoddart an hour be- 
fore the dawn of day. Captain Shaumburg, a 
merry-hearted German, in command of the fort 
was called upon to perform the marriage ceremony. 
In vain he declared his ignorance of such ceremonies 
and his want of authority. He was told that he was 
placed there by the Federal Government to protect 
the people and to regulate their affairs, and that 
this little affair needed his sanction. 

" At length the captain yielded to their solicita- 
tions, and having the two lovers placed before him 
proclaimed : i I, Captain Shaumburg, of the 
second regiment of the United, States army, and 
commandant of Fort Stoddart, do hereby pronounce 
you man and wife. Go home, behave yourselves; 
multiply, and replenish the Tensaw country.' They 
re-entered their canoes, 'returned to the Tensaw 
Boat Yard, and the whole settlement pronounced 
them to be 'the best married people they had 
known in a long time.' " 

In 1801 the inhabitants were estimated at seven 
hundred and fifty, (five hundred being whites), in 
these river settlements. In 1802 a trading house was 
established at St. Stephens. There were American 
settlers now between the rivers, and new ones on the 
west, from Georgia and the Carolinas, from Tennes- 
see and Kentucky.* Settlers came in rapidly until 

* By a supplementary act of Congress in 1804 there was 
added to the Mississippi Territory all the" tract of country" 
south of the State of Tennessee between Georgia on the east and 
Louisiana on the west. From Mississippi Statutes in the library 
qf Oolonel J. W. Portis of8uggsvUle % Clarke county, Alabama. 

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1812, when it became evident that trouble with the 
Indians was near. In 1810 the population of Wash- 
ington county was, whites 733, and blacks 517. Of 
Baldwin, formed in December, 1809, the population 
was, whites 667, and blacks 760, In the north, bor- 
dering on Tennessee, there was then one county 
only, Madison. In December of 1812 Clarke county 
was formed by act of the territorial legislature, be- 
ing the fourth county in what became Alabama. It 
may readily be seen that these river settlements were 
well called "completely insulated." South of therebe- 
tween latitude 31 Q and the Bay, between the Perdido 
River and the Mississippi, were the Spaniards; on the 
east, between them and Georgia, were the Creeks ; 
on the west, between them and the Natchez and the 
Yazoo settlements, were the Choctaws; and on the 
north were the Chickasaws and Creeks between 
them and the nearest settlements in the bend of the 
Tennessee River. The reader will see therefore 
why this history is largely of the Creek War in 
South Alabama, although no Alabama state or ter- 
ritory existed then; for in what became South Ala- 
bama, then apart of the large Mississippi Territory, 
were then living the white settlers, about *two 
thousand in number, with nearly two thousand 
blacks, who were deeply interested in this war, to 
whom it was indeed a matter of life or death. 

And now we can more intelligently and with 
larger interest, having looked at some of these in- 
habitants, examine the causes of this Creek War. It 
was considered at first, a war upon the whites ; it 
became, at length, and mainly, a war, almost of ex- 
termination, against the Indians. 


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The opening paragraph of the fifty-third chapter 
of Ramsay's History of the United States, pub- 
lished in 1818, contains statements so just and 
appropriate that they are repeated as an introduc- 
tory paragraph here. 

"In treating of the causes and conduct of a war, 
maintained by a savage against a civilized nation, 
we are aware that the greatest caution ought to be 
observed, lest an undue degree of moral or physical 
superiority be ascribed to the latter. Between the 
contradictory narratives of enlightened nations, 
differing, as they often do, in the most minnte, as 
well as in the most important statements, the truth 
may generally be found. When, however, the art 
of recording and perpetuating events, is possessed 
only by one party, it is natural that misrepresenta- 
tion should occur, and the annalist to whom one 
source of information only is open, finds it difficult 
to delineate the principal features of such hostilities 
without deserving the charge of partiality. Passion, 
prejudice, the love of gain, and contempt for the 
rude and uninformed people by whom they are sur- 
rounded, operate strongly to incite the frontier 
•inhabitants of the Republic to hostilities, and to 
exaggerate the merit and importance of their 
triumphs over these undisciplined tribes. On the 
other hand, causes no less powerful, have long kept 
the greater part of the Indian people in a state of 
virtual warfare with the United States. 

"The influence of feelings, common to all man- 
kind in a similar situation, the desire of revenge, and 
the hope of re-possessing those happier seats, from 
which their * ancestors were driven, added to the 
sense of their diminution, through the power and 
arts of their civilized neighbors, had, previously to 
the war of the United States with Great Britain, 
produced *a spirit of irritation and animosity, which 
that event soon kindled into a flame." 

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That the Creek Indians should have been ready 
for war when opportunity offered is by no means 
surprising. That the Indians did not all unite and 
sweep off the white settlers from all the Alabama 
portion of the Mississippi Territory, is almost re- 
markable. From the time of the Spanish discover- 
ies the tread of the white man on American soil has 
usually meant aggression. The white man crowds. 
lie wants the choicest lands; he wants, in fact, the 
whole. The Indian is hospitable for a time; he 
yields; and then he tries to fight his way back. 

In 1621 Edward Winslow of Plymouth wrote to 
a friend in London, 

"We have found the Indians very faithful to 
their covenant of peace with us, very loving and 
ready to pleasure us. We often go to them, and they 
come to us. 

"We entertain them pleasantly and familiarly in 
our cabins, and they, as friendly, bestow their veni- 
son on us." 

But as settlements advanced a change came. Mar- 
tyn writes for 1637, as introducing his account of 
the Pequod troubles, 

"But now this old epoch was buried; a new one 
dawned. The Indians surveyed the in-coming pale- 
face tide which seemed always to flow and never to 
ebb. They asked each other: 'Where will this end?'" 
And the" Pequod war — the extermination of the 
Pequods, resulted. Often history repeats itself. 

The Indians known in this history as the 
CEEEKS, then occupying western Georgia and 
what is now eastern and central Alabama, a 
region watered by the Chattahoochee, Coosa, 
Tallapoosa. Cahawba, and Alabama rivers, had seen 
the growth of the settlements eastward of them in 

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Georgia. They knew something of the white settle- 
ment in Tennessee. And since the year 1800 they 
had seen a brisk migration of white 'families from 
Georgia and the Carolinas, directly through their 
country, to the Mississippi Territory. They knew 
that white families were living east of the Tombig- 
bee river, between that and fcke Alabama river, in 
what is now the county of Clarke, and that some 
even settled east of the Alabama. They themselves 
claimed west of the Alabama to the water shed line, 
and this line bounded Clarke county on the east when 
it was set off from Washington county, December 
10, 1812. They had claimed also to the Tombigbee 
River, although the Choctaws claimed to the water- 
shed ; and when in 1802 a treaty was made with the 
Choctaws and a tract of land was ceded by them to 
the United States, a Creek chief, the Mad Wolf 
is reported to have said : "The people of Tombigbee 
have put over their cattle in the Fork, on the Aliba- 
mo hunting grounds, and have gone a great way on 
our lands. I want them put back. We all know 
they are Americans." 

These Alibamo Indians were the nearest of the 
Creek tribes and would naturally claim to the Tom- 
bigbee river. They would at once feel the encroach- 
ment of these white settlers. Thirty chiefs and 
warriors of the Creek nation were in Washington in 
the fall of 1805, and, through the influences brought 
to bear upon them there, they had granted the right 
" of using a horse path through their country." The 
chiefs agreed even to build bridges across the streams 
or to have ferry boats and to open houses of enter- 
tainment for travellers. In this same year the Choc 

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taws ceded five million acres of their land to the 
United States, including that which the Creeks 
claimed west cff the water shed. Instead of fighting 
with the Choctaws for this strip of land it was agreed 
to leave the question of ownership to be decided by 
an Indian game of ball. One game was played by 
men and the Choctaws won the game. The Creeks 
were dissatisfied. The Choctaws then proposed that 
the women of each side should play. To this the 
Creeks agreed, and the Choctaw women won the 
game and held the land. This boundary line was 
surveyed in 1808, Creeks and Choctaws assisting in 
the work. Starting from what was afterwards 
called Hal's Lake, the line was to cross no water ; 
and the corner post was driven near the north line 
of Clarke county, the locality being called the Choc- 
taw corner. Not far away a village is now situated 
called Choctaw Corner. 

In 1811 Lieutenant Luckett with a party of 
soldiers cut out a road, called the " Federal Road," 
\^ through the Creek country, from a point on the 
Chattahoochee River to Mims' Ferry on the Alabama, 
and this road was soon, in the language of those who 
knew the facts of that migration, " filled from one 
end to the other" with parties of white families 
bound for the river and the western settlements. 

The "horse path" was now a government 
wagon road, and the Creek Indians could not fail 
to see that the whites were beginning to build up 
a large and permanent settlement on their very 
borders. It was evident that they would encroach 
more and more upon the Alibamo hunting grounds. 
Choice hunting grounds these were between the two 

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rivers, even as late as 1850. This wagon road of 
1811 and this stream of migration passing through 
the Creek nation awakened in many of the Creek 
warriors strong discontent. While efforts had been 
made to introduce civilization among them, and 
with some success, yet many were restless amid 
the restraints which were increasing around them. 
The Spaniards also disliked these river settlements, 
and they excited still more the discontent of the Creek 
warriors. As Pensacola was at this time the great 
place of trade for the Indians and for these white 
settlers, it was very easy for these Spanish traders 
to learn the growth of the settlements and to arouse 
hostility in the minds of the Indians. Pensa- 
cola, to some extent, was responsible for the Creek 
War. But perhaps the most active agent in stirring 
up strife, outside of the Creek nation, was the noted 
Indian chief, Tecumseh, well called great, who 
came like a blast from the North, endeavoring to 
lead the Southern tribes to \ join his great con- 
federacy. Ashe will be fully^nentioned in other 
chapters two sentences only in regard to him will 
be given here. 

" Brave, sagacious, and enterprising, he left no 
means untried to retard at least, if he could not 
prevent, the approaching extermination of his tribe.'' 

" He visited, in person, all the tribes west of the 
Mississippi, and on Lakes Superior, Huron, and Erie, 
exciting them to hostilities by the appeals of 
religion and interest." 

There is also another fact to be. considered here. 
Alexander McGillivray who has been already men- 
tioned, born at Little Tallassee, four miles above the 

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present Wetumpka, in 1746, — Drake says, about 1739 
— commencing his public life as early as 1766, had 
held a very firm control over these Indians. Brewer 
speaks of him as the controlling mind in that region, 
the most distinguished native then born, and at the 
head of the Muscogee confederacy, which was more 
compact and formidable at that time than at any 
other known period of its history. Brewer further 
says, that he wielded an influence over his people 
"not felt since the days of Tuskaloosa. He was a 
diplomatist and scholar among a nation of savages." 
Pickett speaks of him as possessing the most 
marked ability of any man born or reared on Ala- 
bama soil. He was now dead ; and there was no 
one to take his place as a recognized head of the 
nation. In that year after his death, 1793, such 
was the commotion among Indians, Spaniards, and 
Americans, (and some very bad Americans were 
among the Indians), that Pickett wrote, "It appeared 
that the evil one himself was Stalking through this 
wild region." Native Indian chiefs were now again 
coming forward to exercise their rights of govern- 
ment, such as Big Warrior, as Menawa, and others; 
while leaders of mixed blood were also exerting their 
influence. There was no head. The United States 
Agent, Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, residing for 
some time among them, was not their ruler, and it 
is not strange that a conflict broke out among them- 
selves. Some of them continued on friendly terms 
with the whites, but others became very hostile. 

From these statements it appears that the great 
exciting cause of this war was, the large and 
growing settlement of white pioneers along the 

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Tombigbee and the Alabama rivers. Encroach- 
ments upon the Indian hunting grounds and rights 
were of necessity made. The great wagon road 
was an encroachment ; the presence of so many 
white families with their cattle and hogs and horses 
was an encroachment. It needed not Tecumseh's 
stirring words to assure them that they must before 
long give up their Indian life, cultivate the ground, 
and accept the white man's civilization; or they 
must migrate ; or they must break up this settlement 
of sturdy frontier families on their western borders. 
Their proposed attempt thus to do, encouraged by 
the Spaniards, by Tecumsehand the British, brought 
on the disastrous Creek War. 

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N the summer of 1811, the celebrated Shawnee 
chief, Tecumseh, at the head of twenty armed 
and mounted warriors, visited the Southern Indians. 
His object was to induce these tribes to join the 
Indian Confederacy which he was forming to act in 
concert with the British troops in the war then 
impending with the United States. In company 
with Tecumseh was his kinsman, Seekaboo, who was 
to act the role of prophet and interpreter in the 
Southern councils. 

Seekaboo was, probably, born in the Creek na- 
tion, had certainly once lived there, and in early life 
had emigrated north with some Shawnees. He was, 
at the time of Tecumseh's visit to the South, about 
forty years of age, a brave warrior, an eloquent 
orator, and gifted linguist, speaking English, Shaw- 
nee, Choctaw, and Muscogee, by which attainments 
he exercised great influence in the Indian councils. 
Seekaboo was related to Tecumseh in this manner : 
His mother's mother was a sister of the mother of 
Tecumseh. His father was a half-breed, the off- 
spring of a white man with a Creek woman. 

Save one meager incident, both history and tra- 
dition are silent as to the details of Tecumseh's visit 

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to the Chickasaws, what places be visited and bow 
long be tarried among them, only that his mission 
was in vain. The tradition that has been banded 
down is that in the upper part of the Chickasaw 
nation, Tecumseh and his warriors came to the house 
of George Colbert. He made known to Colbert the 
object of his visit, and that he wished the Chicka- 
saws to join the confederacy, and that at the proper 
time all the tribes were to go to war against the 
Americans, and he wished Colbert to use his influ- 
ence with his people in effecting this object. Col- 
bert, in reply, told Tecumseh that the Chickasaws 
were at peace with the whites and wished to remain 
so; and that he certainly would not use his influence 
towards involving them in any war. Tecumseh, see- 
ing that Colbert would give no countenance to his 
designs, took his departure. 

On leaving the Chickasaw nation, as a tradition 
runs, Tecumseh crossed the Oktibbeha Creek, the 
Choctaw and Chickasaw boundary, some three miles 
southwest of the present site of West Point, Missis- 
sippi, near Dick's old ferry, and there taking the 
Six Towns' trail, which led southerly, he camped, his 
first night in the Choctaw nation, in a grove on a 
hill, in the southwestern part of Lowndes County, 
about two miles from the Noxubee County line 
and about two hundred yards from that of Oktibbeha. 
This place is now occupied by the residence of 
the late Allen Brooks. The next morning, Tecum- 
seh continued his southward march in the Six Towns' 
trail, which crossed Noxubee Kiver, about six hun- 
dred yards above Bugg's ferry, and about seven 
miles beyond, he arrived at the residence of Mingo 

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Moshulitubbee, the present Mashulaville, in Noxubee 

Tecumseh remained at Moshulitubbee's house for 
several days, and a number of Choctaw mingoes and 
warriors came to see him. It seems that no regular 
council was held here, and Tecumseh made known 
the object of his visit, but it was received with no 
favor by the Choctaws present. 

Tecumseh and his Shawnees then went to the 
village of a noted warrior, named Hoentubbee, Mo- 
shulitubbee sending a warrior with him as a guide. 
The village of Hoentubbee was situated near the 
present residence of Elias Round tree, in the north- 
western part of Kemper County, some six hundred 
yards north of Ben Dick Creek and about two miles 
from the Neshoba County line. Hoentubbee, in 
after years, in speaking of Tecumseh and his war- 
riors, stated that all were armed, dressed, and painted 
alike. Their arms were rifles, with tomahawks and 
scalping knives in their belts. Their dress was a 
buckskin hunting shirt, a cloth flap, with buckskin 
leggins and moccasins profusely fringed and beaded. 
All wore garters below the knees. Their hair was 
plaited in a long cue of three plaits hanging down 
between the shoulders, while each temple was closely 
shaven. The heads of all, except Tecumseh, were 
adorned with plumes of hawk and eagle feathers. 
Tecumseh wore, depending from the crown of his 
head, two long crane feathers, one white, the other 
dyed a brilliant red. According to Indian symbol- 
ism, the white feather was an emblem of peace, — 
peace among the various Indian tribes. The red 
feather was a war emblem, — war to their enemies, 

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the Americans. They wore silver bands on each 
arm, one around the wrist, one above and one below 
the elbow, and a few wore silver gorgets suspended 
from their necks. Around the forehead of each, 
encircling the head, was a red flannel band about 
three inches wide, and over this a silver band. Semi- 
circular streaks of red war-paint were drawn under 
each eye, extending outward on the cheek bone. A 
small red spot was painted on each temple, and a 
large round red spot on the centre of the breast. 

Tecumseh remained a number of days at the vil" 
lage of Hoentubbee, and at his request, many of the 
noted Choctaws came there to meet him in council 
and listen to his talk. Among those present, were 
Pushmataha and Moshulitubbee, mingoes, respec- 
tively, of the southeastern and northeastern districts. 
The Shawnees first danced their national dance, and 
after this the council convened near Hoentubbee's 
house. Tecumseh arose and through Seekaboo 
made a long talk. He spoke much of the" bad con- 
duct of the white people, how they were seizing the 
Indians' lands and reducing them to poverty, and 
he urged the Choctaws to join him in a general war 
against the oppressors. He urged, too, upon the 
Choctaws the duty of living at peace with the other 
Indian tribes ; and that all the tribes ought to quit 
their inter-tribal wars and unite in a general con- 
federacy; that by this means they could keep their 
lands and preserve their nationalities. Tecumseh 
also spoke of the impending war with Great Britain, 
and that the Choctaws must unite with the other 
tribes and all declare themselves allies of Great 
Britain. If we are to credit one of our Choctaw 

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informants, Tecumseh also, in this talk, as well as in 
subsequent talks, spoke very earnestly against the 
Indian custom of killing women and children in war. 
This custom they should renounce, and henceforth, 
in all wars, the lives of women and children should 
be spared. 

Such are some of the traditions of Tecumseh's 
talk, and among these, his reprobation of a barba- 
rous war custom of his race is creditable to his hu- 
manity. Some of this talk was, by no means, dis- 
pleasing to the Choctaws. They approved of the 
idea of the different tribes renouncing their inter- 
tribal wars and living at peace with each other. And 
they by no means objected to his advice that all 
Indians should renounce the custom of killing 
women and children in war ; but they were sus- 
picious and wary of his proposal to declare them- 
selves allies of Great Britain. Their relations with 
the Americans had ever been harmonious, and they 
disliked any proposal that would sever those ties of 

Pushmataha replied to Tecumseh, and in his talk 
told his people not to think of going to war ; that 
the Choctaws had never shed the blood of white 
men in war ;* that they had ever been at peace with 
them and must continue so ; that there was no cause 
of war with the white people, and that a war with 
them would end in the ruin of their nation ; that 
the white people were the friends of the Choc- 

* It is true that the Choctaws fought against the Spaniards at 
Mauvila and Cabusto. But it must not be supposed that Push- 
mataha knew anything about these, to him, prehistoric matters. 

H. 8. H. 

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taws, and they must not make enemies of them by 
taking the talk of Tecumseh. 

The council dissolved and Tecumseh's talk was all 
in vain. Not one Choctaw was disposed to take his 
talk. During his stay at this village, which was 
several days, Tecumseh seems to have conceived a 
warm regard for Hoentubbee. Before his departure, 
he presented the latter a silver ornament or gorget, 
which Hoentubbee kept for a long time until it was 
destroyed by the burning of his house many years 
afterwards. An aged son of Hoentubbee, still 
living, states that Tecumseh also gave his father a 
written or printed paper or parchment, to which a 
red seal or stamp was affixed. The nature of this 
document must be left entirely to conjecture. As 
Tecumseh was connected with the British authorities, 
could this have been a paper authorizing the holder, 
in case he should join the hostiles, to draw military 
supplies from the Spaniards at Pensacola ? 

Tecumseh and his warriors, after leaving Hoen- 
tubbee's village, next went to Tazoo, situated in 
Neshoba County, about eleven miles south of east 
of Philadelphia, now known as Tazoo Old Town. 
The mingo of this place was named Tanampo 
Eshubbee. The Shawnees remained here three of 
four days, in which they danced their national dance, 
and another council was held and another talk was 
made by Tecumseh with reply by Pushmataha, — 
both of the same nature and with the same result 
as at the village of Hoentubbee. 

Tecumseh and his warriors then went to Moka- 
lusha. This was one of the most noted and popu- 
lous towns of the Choctaws. It was situated upon 


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a plateau on the headwaters of Talasha Creek, 
about twelve miles southeast of Philadelphia. The 
houses of the town, with the small fields interspersed, 
covered an area three miles long, north and south, 
and a mile and a half wide, east and west. During 
the farming season, the boys of the town kept the 
horses and cattle herded out on the range be- 
yond the suburbs, to prevent their depredating on 
the crops, which were mostly cultivated by the 
women, while the men generally spent their time 
in hunting. Such was the division of labor in 
Mokalusha. Mokalusha is a corruption of Imoklasha, 
which signifies "Their people are there." About 
1824, this ancient town was, in a great measure 
abandoned on account of the ravages of the small 

The Shawnees remained about a week at Moka- 
lusha, and the same Choctaw mingoes came hither 
who had attended the former councils. After the 
Shawnees had danced their national dance, a coun- 
cil convened on a hill situated about the centre 
of the eastern edge of the town. This hill is now 
occupied by the residence of the late Colonel James 
Wilson. Tecumseh here through Seekaboo made 
his talk, to which Pushmataha again replied. The 
Shawnee chief a third time failed to make any im- 
pression on the Choctaws. 

After this council, the Shawnees, travelling 
down the east side of Talasha Creek, went to Chunky 
Town, which was situated on the west side of 
Chunky Creek, half a mile below the confluence of 
Talasha and Chunky creeks, and about five miles 
above Hickory Station. It is stated that Pushma- 

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taha and the other mingoes, from some cause, did 
not follow Tecumseh to Chunky. In Tecumseh's 
day, and down to the treaty of Dancing Rabbit, in 
1830, the long peninsular strip of country, into 
which Tecumseh entered after leaving Mokalusha, 
and which lies between Talasha and Tallihatta 
creeks and thence continuing southward to the con- 
fluence of Tallihatta and Chunky creeks, was under 
the jurisdiction of a mingo named Iskifa Chito, Big 
Axe. His residence was on the west bank of Tal- 
lihatta, near which spot is now Day's mill. This 
peninsula is still known by the old Choctaws as 
Iskifa Chito in Yakni, Big Axe's Country. 

Pierre Juzan, a noted French Indian country- 
man, at this time was living at Chunky Town. He 
had settled among the Choctaws in early life, and 
had married a Choctaw woman, a niece of Pushma- 
taha, and raised an Indian family. He spoke Eng- 
lish, French, and Choctaw with equal fluency. Juzan 
had several trading houses among the Choctaws, one 
being at Coosha Town, situated three or four miles 
southeast of old Daleville, on the right bank of 
Issuba in Kannia bok (Lost Horse Creek), and 
another at Chunky. His dwelling house at Chunky 
was on the west side of the creek and about two 
hundred yards from it. He had here an apple 
orchard, — a rare thing in an Indian country — the 
trees or scions for which he had brought from 
France. He also had another residence at Coosha. 
Juzan died about 1840, at Tuscahoma, on the Tom- 
bigbee. Some time after his death, his family, with 
the exception of a daughter, emigrated west. 

On the day of their arrival at Chunky, Tecumseh 

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and Seekaboo called upon Juzan and had a long 
interview with him, in the course of which they 
endeavored to persuade him to use his influence with 
the Choctaws to induce them to join the Indian 
Confederacy. Juzan became greatly indignant and 
spurned the Shawnees' proposition. He turned 
away and would hold no further conversation with 
them. It so happened that same day that Okla- 
homa, a noted mingo from Coosha, a nephew of 
Pushmataha and brother of Juzan's wife, was in 
Chunky with a number of his warriors. He was 
soon informed by Juzan of the object of Tecumseh's 
visit, whereupon he became greatly enraged and 
forthwith ordered his warriors to mould bullets and 
prepare to make battle against the Shawnees. He 
also sent a messenger to Iskifa Chito, to inform him 
of the situation and to urge him to prepare for war 
against the Shawnee intruders. Tecumseh, whose 
object was to harmonize all Indians, saw the drift of 
affairs, and wishing to avoid any hostile collision, he 
summoned his warriors and quietly withdrew from 
the place. The Choctaw traditions here vary. 
According to one tradition, Tecumseh with all 
his warriors then returned to Moshulitubbee's. 
But according to another, the Shawnees after 
withdrawing from Chunky, divided into two 
parties, one party, under Tecumseh, returning 
to Moshulitubbee's, whilst the other party, 
under Seekaboo, went down south into the present 
Jasper County among the Six Towns Indians, who 
were considered the fiercest and most warlike of all 
the Choctaws. Here some talks were made. Thence, 
making a detour to the northeast, Seekaboo's party 

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went to Ooosha. Whether at this place they again 
encountered the hostility of Oklahoma, we have no 
information. From Coosha, Seekabo went to Yah- 
nubbee Town, situated on Tahnubbee Creek, eight 
miles south west of DeKalb. The present DeKalband 
Decatur road traverses the site of the old town. 
Making but a short stay at Tahnubbee, Seekaboo 
thence returned to Moshulitubbee's, where the two 
Shawnee parties again re-united. 

In some way that cannot now be ascertained, it 
seems that by mutual agreement, there was to be a 
final council of the Choctaws with Tecumseh, and 
another residence of Moshulitubbee, situated in 
Noxubee County, about five miles northeast of 
Brooksville, was selected as the council ground. 
In going to this council, Tecumseh with his warriors 
travelled back the same route that he came until he 
crossed Noxubee River. There he left the Six 
Towns trail and took another, which led northeast 
and terminated at this second home of Moshulitub- 
bee. Here the Shawnees remained full two weeks, 
and all the great mingoes and principal men of the 
Choctaws came hither to hear the talk of the great 
Tecumseh. Of these, tradition has preserved the 
names of Pushmataha, Moshulitubbee, Puckshenub- 
bee, Mingo of the western district, Hoentubbee, 
David Folsom, and John Pitchlyn. 

A few words as to this locality, which is now 
embraced in the Chester plantation of the late 
Colonel Thomas G. Blewett. The house of Moshuli- 
tubbee stood upon the crest of a hill, about a quarter 
of a mile westerly of the dwelling house of the 
plantation. About one hundred and twenty-five 

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yards west of the dwelling house, stood a large red 
oak, with broad spreading leafy branches. Under 
this tree the council took place. It was the inten- 
tion of Colonel Blewett to have this tree preserved 
on account of its historic associations. But in 1855, 
without the Colonel's knowledge, and to his great 
regret, the overseer had it destroyed. 

When the appointed time came and the Shaw- 
nees had finished their dance, the council convened 
under the oak, and Tecumseh, through Seekaboo, 
made his talk. From the best information now 
attainable, the ideas of Tecumseh's talk at this coun- 
cil were much the same as in the harangue at Hoen- 
tubbee's; in fact, his harangues everywhere among 
the Choctaws were substantially the same. As a 
patriot, though it may be, a misguided one, Tecum- 
seh saw the necessity of the tribes uniting in a con- 
federation, so as to preserve their lands and their 
nationalities. To effect this purpose, he urged that 
it was necessary for them, under the circumstances, 
to take the side of the British in the inevitable con- 
flict. A born savage, though he was, the great 
Shawnee had an innate humanity that caused him to 
reprobate all unnecessary barbarity in war, and in 
every council, he told his wild Indian fellow country- 
men to renounce the custom of slaying women and 
children in war. The expression in Tecumseh's speech 
at Tuckabatchee, recorded in Claiborne's Sam Dale — 
"Slay their women and children" — is an error, a mis- 
take. At no period in life, in none of his war speeches, 
did Tecumseh ever give vent to such a sentiment. 

This was Tecumseh's last talk to the Choctaws. 
The next day, Pushmataha made his reply. He 

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spoke of the long existing friendship of the white 
people and the Ohoctaws, between whom no wars 
had ever occurred, and the Choctaws could truly say 
that they had never shed the blood of white men in 
war. There was no war, or cause of war with white 
people, and the Choctaws must not be led into any 
war by Tecumseh. In closing his speech he turned 
to the mingoes present and said that if any Ohoctaw 
warrior should take the talk of Tecumseh and join 
the hostiles, and should he not be killed in battle, he 
must be put to death on his return home. 

The other mingoes also made talks after Push- 
mataha, and all concurred in his opinion that if any 
warrior should take the talk of Tecumseh, he must 
be put to death. All the mingoes seemed willing to 
follow the lead of Pushmataha, who from the very 
beginning, had taken a stand against Tecumseh. 
John Pitchlyn and David Folsom also used an active 
influence against the Shawnees. The statement in 
Claiborne's Mississippi that some of the Choctaw 
mingoes were hostile or inclined to take Tecumseh's 
talk is altogether erroneous. As to the hostility of 
Hopaii Iskitini, Little Leader, it is sufficient to say 
that he was a mere boy at that time, probably about 
twelve years of age. 

After all the speeches were made, the mingoes 
held a private conference in regard to Tecumseh, 
after which they informed him of their decision, 
which was that if he did not leave their country 
they would put him to death. They also commis- 
sioned David Folsom to take a band of warriors and 
see Tecumseh safe across the Tombigbee. It is not 
known how soon after Tecumseh obeyed this injunc- 

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tion. But both parties, Tecumseh and bis Shawnees, 
and Folsom with his Choctaws, all mounted and 
equipped, in due time, marched towards the south- 
east and arrived at the Tombigbee, near the present 
little village of Memphis, in Pickens County, Ala- 
bama, where they camped. Hoentubbee was with 
Folsom's party, and also two or three white men. 
The next morning all went to work to make rafts 
to cross the river. The rafts were made by tying 
logs together with grape vines. The warriors seated 
themselves on the rafts, and while some would pad- 
dle, others would hold the horses by the bridle and 
make them swim in the rear. By sunset, a part of 
the Shawnees had launched their rafts and crossed 
over, Tecumseh among the number. Folsom re- 
mained with the other party on the western bank. 

The ensuing .night, it happened that a large 
party of marauding Creek warriors crossed the river 
below, came into Folsom's camp and stole several 
Choctaw and Shawnee horses. They took them 
several miles below, tied them in a swamp, then 
taking the back trail, they hid themselves in the 
cane, about two miles below Folsom's camp. The 
next morning, finding several of their horses missing, 
some of the Choctaws and Shawnees, part mounted 
and part afoot, went in search of them. They soon 
discovered the marauders' trail and were eagerly 
following it up when they came near the Muscogee 
ambuscade. Here, all at once, they received a gall- 
ing fire from the wily foe, by which some were 
killed and some wounded. The remainder returned 
the fire, then fled, hotly pursued, back to the camp. 
In the retreat, a horse was shot in the shoulder. 

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His rider, a Shawnee, then leaped to the ground 
and continued his flight afoot. Without further 
casualty, the party arrived at the camp. The Mus- 
cogees took possession of a hill which stood to the 
south of the camp, and now from hill-top to valley, 
the fight began to rage, the Choctaw and the Shaw- 
nee pitted against the martial Muscogee. The 
camp on the other side of the river heard the firing, 
and Tecumseh's warrior spirit was aroused. All 
crossed over to the relief of the beleauguered camp, 
and the fight raged with greater fury. The smoke 
of battle soon darkened the field, enveloping the 
Muscogees on the hill and settling down on the 
cane-brake which sheltered the Choctaws and the 
Shawnees. The Creeks made several efforts to 
drive their enemies from their cover. At onetime 
two daring warriors, making a flank movement, had 
even penetrated to the Choctaws' rear, but were 
there discovered and slain. All day, with rival 
bravery, the warriors of Tecumseh and Folsom 
fought the common foe. About sunset, encouraged 
by Tecumseh, an assault was made up the hill, the 
Muscogees were disloged and put to flight, and the 
shouts of the victors resounded over the field. Both 
sides had a considerable number killed and wounded, 
Folsom, whilst standing behind a tree, in the act of 
shooting at a warrior in his front, received a rifle 
ball through the right shoulder from another hostile 
warrior, who had taken a position in front of the 
Choctaw right flank. Hoentubbee also received a 
wound, though a slight one, being struck by a spent 
ball. While fighting bravely against the enemy, a 
rifle ball struck a large cane in his front and glanc- 

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ing struck the warior with considerable force on the 
breast. For a moment supposing himself smitten 
with a mortal wound, Hoentubbee cried out with a 
loud voice, "Sallishke I " "I am dead I " But he soon 
realized that he was not so dead after all. This little 
incident afforded much amusement to the Choctaw 
warriors. The Creeks, according to their national 
custom, bore off from the field all their wounded, 
and as many of their slain warriors' as they could 
with safety to themselves. But they were compelled 
to abandon a few, whom the Choctaws plundered 
and scalped without compunction. The Shawnees 
took no part in this act, perhaps, by the command 
of Tecumseh, since the fight was a necessity forced 
upon them. The next morning, the victors buried 
their dead, then all able to do so crossed the river, 
Folsom, notwithstanding his wound, crossing over 
with his people. Folsom's mission was now accom- 
plished. He had seen the Shawnees across the 
Tombigbee, and they now separated, the Shawnees 
continuing their course towards the domains of the 
Muscogees and the Seminoles. 

The Choctaw warriors now resolved not to re-cross 
the Tombigbee until they had retaliated upon the 
Muscogees for the loss of their horses and the death 
of their warriors. Folsom returning to Moshuli- 
tubbee's on account of his wound, the fierce braves 
selected another leader, went over to the Black War- 
rior, and there wreaked their vengeance to the full. 
They burned a number of the houses of the Mus- 
cogees, slew their warriors, and seized their horses. 
By a strange freak of fortune, they recovered, in a 
cane brake on the Black Warrior, the very W&i 

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Choctaw and Shawnee horses that had been captured 
on the Tombigbee. At last, enriched with 
booty and scalps, they recrossed the Tombigbee in 
triumph, thence went to the house of Mingo Achilli- 
tubbee, (in Neshoba County, half a mile north- 
east of the Bogue Chitto bridge), where they under- 
went those ceremonies of purification customary, in 
ancient times, among the Choctaws on their return 
home from the war path. 


The above sketch of Tecumseh's visit to the 
Chickasaws and Choctaws has been worked out 
from original and authentic sources. The greater 
part of the information was received from Charley 
Hoentubbee,of Kemper County, a son of the warrior, 
Hoentubbee. In 1880, the writer had repeated con- 
versations with Charley Hoentubbee, who related to 
him all the facts that be had ever heard from his 
father in regard to Tecumseh's visit to the Choctaws. 
He stated that he had often heard his father talk 
about this visit. Hoentubbee, the warrior, died in 
Kemper County, in 1860. In 1885, the writer also 
interviewed the aged Hemonubbee, of Neshoba 
County, in regard to Tecumseh. Hemonubbee stated 
that he was a boy about twelve years of age, when 
Tecumseh passed through the Choctaw JNation; that 
his father, Fillamotubbee, attended several of the 
councils; and in after years, he had often heard his fa- 
ther and other Choctaws converse about Tecumseh's 
visit. Hemonubbee's statements were substantially 
the same as Hoentubbee's, though not so much in de- 
tail. Neither Hoentubbee nor Hemonubbee, however, 
was very familiar with the incidents of Tecumseh's 
visit to Chunky. For these incidents, the writer is 
indebted to the late Mr. James Cassels of Newton 

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County and Jack Amos, a Choctaw, of the same 
county. Both related the same identical facts, Mr. 
Cassels receiving the information from Pierre Juzan, 
and Amos, from Oklahoma. Amos is a nephew of 
Oklahoma and grand nephew of Pushmataha, being 
a grandson of Nahotima, a sister of Pushmataha. In 
1877, Mr. G. W. Campbell, of Noxubee County, re- 
lated to the writer some facts about Tecumseh's visit, 
he receiving the information, in early life, from 
Stonie Hadjo, one of Moshulitubbee's captains, who 
died in Noxubee County, about 1838. Stonie Had jo's 
statements, as far as they went, agreed with those 
of Hoentubbee and Hemonubbee. Mr. Campbell - 
and Hoentubbee, however, could not recollect the 
name of Tecumseh's interpreter, Seekaboo, Mr.Camp- 
bell simply remembering Stonie Hadjo's statement 
that he was a relative of Tecumseh's mother. But 
Mr. Cassels, Jack Amos, and Hemonubbee remem- 
bered the name distinctly, Amos stating besides that 
the Choctaws were astonished at Seekaboo's famil- 
iarity with their language. Hemonubbee gave the 
precise relationship of Seekaboo to Tecumseh, which 
fact, Seekaboo must have related to the Choctaws. 
The Choctaws' informants all agree in stating that 
Tecumseh and his warriors were mounted. 

From a short biographical sketch of David Fol- 
som, in the bibliography of the Muskhogean Ian- 

fuages, the inference might possibly be drawn that 
olsom was too young to be a man of affairs in Te- 
cumseh's day. In reply to this possible objection, 
the writer will state that he has been informed by 
an old citizen of Mississippi, who knew David Fol- 
som well, that Folsom had grown children at the 
time of the treaty of Dancing Rabbit, in 1830. This 
would surely mafie Folsom old enough to be a man 
of some influence among the Choctaws in 1811, 
nineteen years before the treaty. The writer be- 
sides closely questioned Charley Hoentubbee on this 
special point, and he stoutly contended that David 

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Folsom was the man that conducted the Shawnees 
across the Tombigbee. 

The meager incident of Tecumseh's Chickasaw 
visit was received from the late Mr. W. G. Harris, 
of Winston County. Mr. Harris stated that in 1833 
he spent a night at the house of George Colbert, on 
Shookatonche Creek, and that in their conversation 
Colbert related to him this incident. 

The best documentary evidence has been followed 
in giving twenty as the number of Tecumseh's war- 
riors, but Hoentubbee's tradition makes them much 
more numerous. 

After sifting and comparing all the information 
given by the above parties in regard to Tecumseh's 
Southern visit, the writer is satisfied that all the 
statements which he has recorded in the above chap- 
ter are substantially correct. 

The topographical matter is the result of per 
sonal observations. H. S. H. 

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THE visit of this noted chief to the Greek Indians 
has been named as one of the causes leading to 
the Creek War. 

Some notice of this visit seems to be desirable in 
this history, although not a part, strictly, of the war 

It is singular that there is so much discrepancy 
among good and, in the main, reliable historians in 
regard to the time of this visit ; but as one pushes 
researches onward with thoroughness in almost any 
line of investigation he finds that, in regard to man, 
it is more than easy to make mistakes. Some of 
these mistakes can be, some of them cannot be, cor- 

Ramsay says, and he is an excellent and careful 
historian, speaking of the Southern Indians : " In 
the spring of the year 1812, they were visited by the 
celebrated Tecumseh, whose designs appear to have 
been of the most extensive nature. The bold and 
enterprising genius of this chief led him to pene- 
trate into the most remote quarters in the further- 
ance of his great object. With an ardent, but sav- 
age, eloquence he endeavored to excite them to 


resistance against what he represented as a flagrant 
oppression." * 

Many writers since have evidently followed Ram- 
say or Alabama's leading historian, Pickett. In 
" Indian Wars of the United States * * From 
the Best Authorities," by "William V. Moore, pub- 
lished by R. W. Pomeroy, 1841, under the heading 
" The Creek War," the first sentence is the follow- 
ing : u In the spring of 1812 the Southern Indians 
were visited by the celebrated Tecumseh, who, with 
an ardent but savage eloquence, urged them to take 
up arms against the whites." (Moore has again fol- 
lowed Ramsay in saying that in Fort Mims were 
three hundred persons and that only seventeen 

An effort was made, as will appear in the notes 
on this chapter, to obtain some documentary evi- 
dence from state papers at Washington. The 
officials of the War Department, finding no desired 
document,ref erred as competent authority to Lossing's 
"Field Book of the War of 1812." This was examined 
and the statements were found,page 745,that Tecum- 
seh had visited the Southern Indians "as early as the 
spring of 1811," and that " in the autumn of 1812 
* * * Tecumseh went again to the Gulf 
Region." Also that he took his brother, the 
Prophet, with him and about thirty men. He seems 
to rely largely for his authority on Pickett. He 
gives yet another date. Speaking of the year 1813, 
he says: "* * * that in the spring of that 
year Tecumseh (who was slain on the Thames a few 

* See Ramsay's United States, published May 1, 1818, "Se* 
end Edition, Revised and Corrected," vol. 8, page 35h 

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months later) went among the Southern tribes, to 
arouse them to wage war upon the white people." 
Lossing's TJ. S. History for families and libraries, 
page 427. 

Lossing is a good, in the main no doubt,a reliable 
historian, but made, as all are liable to do, some mis- 

Parton says, in his " Life of Jackson," published 
in 1870: " In the spring of 181 1 Tecumseh, leaving 
his affairs in the hands of the Prophet, a3 Moses did 
in those of Aaron when he ascended the Mount, 
went to the South preaching his crusade. Far and 
long he travelled, sowing the seeds of future wars." 
He speaks of his being among the Seminoles, the 
Creeks, the Cherokees, and the tribes of the Des 
Moines ; how " he held the war council, delivered his 
impassioned talk, and strode away." He adds: 
"The fall of 1812 again found Tecumseh, accom- 
panied by the Prophet and a retinue of thirty war- 
riors, haranguing the Creeks in the midnight council, 
and this time with prodigious effect. Now he could 
point to the successes of the British in the North ; 
now he could give certain promises of assistance 
from the English and Spaniards in Florida ; now he 
spoke with the authority of a British agent and offi- 
cer. " 

Francis S. Drake, in his " Indian Tribes of the 
United States," 2nd volume, 1884, also says : •* In 
the spring of 1811 Tecumseh, leaving his affairs in 
the hands of his brother, the Prophet," — he omits 
the allusion to Moses — " went to the South preach- 
ing his crusade." And again he says : " The fall of 
1812 again found Tecumseh, accompanied by the 

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Prophet and a retinue of thirty warriors, haranguing 
the Creeks in the midnight council, and this time 
with prodigious effect." It is needless to quote 
further. The words are the same as the words of 
Parton. Both Parton and Drake write the same 
words without any marks of quotation. 
Evidently some of the historians are too credu- 
lous, some too imaginative, and some are too 

Even Pickett says that Tecumseh went in the 
spring of 1812 and was south as late as October of 
that year. 

Eggleston rather strangely says, for one who 
might be supposed to be very accurate, "A careful 
comparison of dates shows that Tecumseh started to 
the South in the spring of the year 1811, and 
returned to the North soon after the battle of Tip- 
pecanoe was fought." 

McKenney wisely says, Tecumseh went South 
"about the year 1811." It is no wonder that one 
who looks over the various works in which Tecum- 
seh and the Creek War are briefly treated should* 
feel it prudent many times to say "about." 

But researches continued for several months seem 
now to leave, on this one point, no further room for 1 

In C. R. Tuttle's "History of the Border Wars of 
Two Centuries" there is a reference to Charles De 
Wolf BrownelPs Indian Races of North and South 
America, in which Tecumseh's visit to the Creeks is 
placed in 1811. This year is certainly the correct 
date. The following statements will prove this and 
also show the month and the day. 

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It is well established in Indiana history that the 
movements of Tecumseh and his brother, called the 
Prophet, retarded the settlement of Indiana Terri- 
tory in the year 1810. The sagacious Indian chief 
was then endeavoring to perfect what became 
known as "Tecumseh's Confederacy ." August 12, 
1810, Tecumseh with some seventy warriors visited 
General Harrison, then territorial governor, at Vin- 
cennes. The conference lasted till August 22nd. 
August 20th, Tecumseh delivered his celebrated 
speech, in which he gave to the white people the 
alternative of restoring to the Indians, whom he 
claimed to represent, their lands, or of meeting 
those Indians in battle. Before this date, in 1805, 
the Prophet, who was called Law-le-was-i-kaw, or 
the Loud Yoice, had assumed the name Pems- 
quat-a-wah, or the Open Door, and in the 
spring of 1808 he had removed from 
Greenville, Ohio, to the Wabash valley of In- 
diana, where he established what was called the 
Prophet's Town, and in August of 1808 he had vis- 
ited Governor Harrison at Vincennes. Early in 
1811 the British agent for Indian affairs adopted 
measures to secure the support of as many Indians as 
possible in the war that even then seemed to be 
unavoidable. That these measures included confer- 
ences and arrangements with Tecumseh seems prob- 
able, although no certain evidence has been found. 
July 27th, 1811, Tecumseh again visited Governor 
Harrison at Vincennes. He objected persistently to 
the treaties that had been made, wherein lands were 
said to be sold to the United States by single tribes 
of Indians. He claimed that one tribe could not 

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sell lands belonging more or less, as he claimed, to 
all the tribes in common. (In 1807, at Chillicothe, 
he had occupied between three and four hours in the 
delivery of a speech which was said to have been 
"eloquent and masterly, and showed that he possessed 
thorough knowledge of all the treaties which had 
been made for years."* "He was at this time one of 
the most splendid specimens of his tribe— celebrated 
for their physical proportions and fine forms." He 
is described as having been " tall, athletic, and 
manly, dignified and graceful * * * the hecm 
ideal of an Indian chieftain.") 

As he and General Harrison could come to no 
perfect agreement at their conference, Tecumseh 
then said that he was going to visit the Southern 
Indians and would return to the Prophet's Town, and 
that the next spring he would visit the President 
at Washington and settle all cause of difficulty. 

With twenty warriors he started immediately 
for the South. He left Vincennes August 5, 1811, 
and went down the Wabash River, f Of his journey 
south of the Ohio, till he reached the Ohickasaws, 
there seems to be no record. Governor Harrison 
wrote to the War Department early in August, 1811, 
" that Tecumseh said he would be back next spring, 
but I am told in three months he will return. For 
four years he has been in constant motion." 

That Tecumseh was in Indiana Territory in 

* See Brice's History of Port Wayne, page 175. I place 
large confidence in local histories. — T. H. B. 

f How the statement originated that he left Detroit with 
thirty men mounted on horses, I have not ascertained. It is 
surely not correct history. I infer rather that he left Vincennes 
in boats, for he " descended the Wabash." T. H. B. 


zed by G00gle 


July, 1811, is certain. That he left Vincennes in 
August is beyond question.* That either in August 
or early in September of 1811 he was among the 
Chickasaws is also very certain. 

For confirmation of these statements see the fol 
lowing extracts from American State Papers, copied 
April 26, 1894: 


Extracts from letters addressed to the War Depart- 

" Dated at Vinoknnks, August 6, 1811. 
" Tecumseh did not . set out till yesterday ; he 
then descended the Wabash attended by twenty 
men, on his way to the southward. After having 
visited the Creeks and Choctaws he is to visit the 
Osages and return by the Missouri." [Page 300.] 

"Nashville, Sept. 10, 1811. 
" As I passed through the Chickasaw nation a 
respectable man of the nation informed me that a 
deputation of eighteen Northern Indians and two 
Creeks were on their way to the Creek nation, but 
would not tell their business. * * * The 
party consisted of six Shawnees, six Kickapoos, and 
six of some tribe far in the Northwest, the name of 
which they refused to tell. * * * ." 

"Nashville, Sept. 9, 1811. 
" There is in this place a very noted chief of the 
Chickasaws, a man of truth, who wishes the Presi- 
dent shouid be informed that there is a combination 
of the Northern Indians, promoted by the English, 
to unite in falling on the frontier settlements, and 
are inviting the Southern tribes to join them." [Page 

* See Dillon's Indiana, also History of Indiana by Goodrich 
and Tuttle. 

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In a former chapter we have seen this restless 
chieftain among the Chocta*vs and Chickasaws. It 
is claimed that he then went through to Florida and 
that he succeeded there in arousing the Seminoles 
to make war upon the whites and to take the side of 
the British when they should hear that the great con- 
flict between them and the Americans had com- 
menced. There is little knowledge in regard to his 
visit among the Seminoles, except these two bare 
facts, if facts these are. It is reported that he gave 
them a bundle of prepared sticks, painted red, each 
stick to represent a day, according to the number of 
days to elapse before he wished them to enter on the 
war path, one of which they were to throw away each 
day that there might be no mistake ; and this is said 
to have been the origin of the term " Red Sticks " as 
applied to the hostile Indians. But quite a differ- 
erent origin of that term is also given. 

That Tecumseh went among the Seminoles at all 
is questionable when the chronology of his South- 
ern tour is closely examined. It took a little time 
for his party to reach the Chickasaws in whatever 
manner they travelled, in boats for a time, and then 
on foot or on horses, and certainly some stop how- 
ever brief was made among them. Among the 
Choctaws, according to the time records in the pre- 
ceding chapter, Tecumseh spent at least four weeks, 
and he was among the Creeks by common agree- 
ment of the authorities in October. Surely he had 
not much time to spend in Florida. 

From Florida Tecumseh started northward and 
made his noted tour among the Creeks. And again 
we come among conflicting statements. But per- 

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haps we will reach historic truth. 1. Before Te- 
cumseh's visit, according to the Reminiscences of 
General Thomas Woodward, a white man came from 
Pensacola and made a visit to the Creek chief 
called Big "Warrior, at Tuckabatchee. Woodward's 
informer was Weatherford, himself a noted Indian 
leader of mixed blood. The time of the interview 
was April, 1814. They were, says General Wood- 
ward, beside a camp fire on the west bank of a 
stream called the Pinchgong. Weatherford thought 
the Pensacola man was Scotch. So he is sometimes 
called " the Scotch emissary." He held many cpn- 
ferences with Big Warrior "through a negro 
interpreter." Shortly after the disappearance of 
this man the oldest son of Big Warrior, Tuskanea or 
Tuskahenaha, " took a trip to> the Wabash and vis- 
ited several tribes." He brought back some Shaw- 
nee women whom General Woodward saw. Weath- 
erford further related that not long after the return 
of Tuskanea, Tecumseh with a prophet called Seek- 
aboo and with other stranger Indians appeared at 
the town of Tuckabatchee. " A talk was put out " 
by Big Warrior. This Weatherford and another 
Creek of mixed blood called Sam Moniac, the orif . 
inal name having been McNac,* attended. "No 
white man was allowed to be present." Weather 
ford reports, through General Woodward: "Tecum- 
seh stated the object of his mission ; that if it could 
be effected the Creeks could recover all the country 
that the whites had taken from them ; and that the 
British would protect them in their rights." To 

♦See Weatherford's letter in the notes to Chapter IX. 

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Tecumseh's speech Moniac objected. He said the 
talk was a bad one, and he said that Tecumseh " had 
better leave the nation." The interpreter was Seek- 
aboo " who spoke English." Weatherford told the 
interpreter to tell Tecumseh that the whites and 
Indians were at peace, that the Creeks were doing 
well, that it would be bad policy for them to take 
either side if the Americans and English went to 
war, and if they did unite with either side they "had 
better join the Americans." 

"After this talk Tecumseh left for home and 
prevailed on Seekaboo and one or two others to re- 
main among the Creeks."* 

9. Hodgson in " Letters from North America " 
says, that his host told him that he was then living 
with an Indian wife among the Creeks ; that he was 
present at the midnight convocation of the chiefs ; 
that Tecumseh made a most impressive speech. 
The year of this interview is not given. 

3. In the "History of the Tribes of North 
America/' a book in the Newberry library of Chi- 
cago, the writer says he obtained his information at 
Tuckhabatchee in 1827 ; that Tecumseh went to the 
lodge of Big Warrior, " explained his object, de- 
livered his war-talk, presented a bundle of sticks, 
gave a piece of wampum and a hatchet, all which 
the Big Warrier took ;" and that then, perceiving 
the Creek chief would not unite with him in his 
plans, he declared that when he returned to De- 

*See " Reminiscences of the Greek or Muscogee Indians," by 
General Thomas Woodward. These Reminiscences consist of 
letters published in a Montgomery paper in 1859 and 1860, after- 
ward published in book form. The work, as an authority, will 
be again mentioned. 

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troit he would stamp his foot and shake the earth. 
These accounts do not seem to have been copied 
the one from the other, but to be three independent 
accounts. They agree sufficiently to be truthful. 

4. Two other accounts there are which are quite 
different from these. The one is by Pickett, (Albert 
James Pickett), published in 1851; the other is by 
J. F. H. Claiborne of Mississippi — his large work 
entitled " Mississippi, as a Province, Territory, and 
State," having been published in 1880. 

These two accounts are very similar, very "graph- 
ic," very full. 

Claiborne says, page 315, "entering the Creek terri. 
tory he harangued the warriors at Autauga and 
Coosanda and the Hickory Ground. Wherever he 
went crowds attended, painted for war, and danc- 
ing the war dance." He adds. "In October the an- 
nual grand council of the nation, in pursuance of 
immemorial usage, assembled at the ancient town of 
Tookabatcha.* These councils were always attend, 
ed by the United States Agent, by all the traders, by 
many strangers, and by the warriors and their fami- 
lies. On this occasion the fame of Tecumseh's visit, 
and his expected address, had assembled some five 
thousand persons at Tookabatcha." Claiborne de- 
scribes the entrance of Tecumseh and his warriors 
into the town squaref the second day, their dress, 
arms, bearing, the passing of Big Warriors pipe, 
and their departure from the square to a large 
cabin provided for them, and at night their war 

♦Different writers give different orthography for the same names. 
tAll Indian towns had public squares. Villages had no squares. 

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Each morning a Shawnee warrior announced that 
his chief would speak at noon, and each noon the 
speech was put off till the next day, until Colonel 
Hawkins, the United States Agent, left the town. 
The next noon after the Agent's departure, amid im- 
posing ceremonies, Tecumseh made his appearance 
and delivered his speech. The assembly continued 
till midnight. Claiborne gives as the year, 1811, and 
the month October. Pickett, a statement of whose 
account will be found in the notes on this chapter, 
gives the same month, but by some means has the 
year date 1812. Claiborne gives the speech of Tec- 
umseh "compressed." 

No reporter is named except "Captain Sam 
Dale," although "an intelligent witness" is referred 

The speech as to its genuineness is much like the 
historic speech of John Adams, "Sink or swim," 
given by Webster, although unlike that in failing to 
give the sentiments of Tecumseh. There is no rea- 
sonable evidence that it contains the substance of the 
statements of Tecumseh. It commences by claim- 
ing that his party murdered whites as they came 
through their settlemeuts. 

"No war-whoop was sounded, no track was 
made," — by thirty men on horseback — "no fire was 
kindled, but see! there is blood on our war clubs!" 

It urges the destruction of women and children, 
of which Tecumseh did not approve. It says : "Two 
mighty warriors across the seas will send us arms — 
at Detroit for us, at Pensacola for you," ten months 
before Detroit came into the possession of the Eng- 
lish. And in closing this murderous, vengeful, bar- 

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barous, furious Tecumseh of imagination rather than 
of fact is made to say, "Soon shall you see my arm 
of fire stretched athwart the sky. You will know 
that I am on the war-path. I will stamp my foot 
and the very earth shall shake." Claiborne says, in 
a note appended to this " compressed " speech, "The 
British officers at Detroit had informed Tecumseh 
that a comet would soon appear, and the earthquakes 
of 1811 had commenced as he came through 
Kentucky." This note is surprising in view of these 
facts: that Tecumseh did not start south from 
Detroit, but from Vincennes, and no evidence has 
been found that in July of 1811 "British officers" 
were in Detroit — what business had they, then, in 
that American post? — and no evidence that Tecum- 
seh at that time had met with British officers ; that 
he must have passed through Kentucky, and through 
or across very little of it at most, in August, and 
there is evidence that the first earthquake shocks 
were felt at Louisville the last week in November ; 
and that the noted comet of 1811, the most remark 
able one that appeared in the first half of 
this century, was visible in September and ceased 
to be seen when the earthquake shocks com- 

In confirmation of these statements about the 
comet and earthquake are these extracts from an 
address before the Maryland Historical Society by 
Hon. J. B. Latrobe of Baltimore. He is describing 
the voyage of the steamboat " New Orleans," the 
first to descend the Mississippi. " It was midnight 
on the first of October, 1811, that the 'New Orleans' 
dropped anchor opposite the town." 

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This "was Louisville. "Taero was a brilliant 
moon. It was as light as day almost, and no one on 
board had retired. The noise of the escaping steam, 
then heard for the first time * * roused the popula- 
tion "and "there were those who insisted that the comet 
of 1811 had fallen into the Ohio and produced the 
hub-bub ! " For weeks the boat waited for rains and 
for water to pass the falls. The time is now "the last 
week in November." And J. B. Latrobe says, "The 
comet of 1811 had disappeared and was followed by 
the earthquakes of that year." Also C. J. Latrobe, 
in his "Rambler in North America," speaking of 1811 
as "the annus mirabilis of the West" on account of 
the overflow of rivers, the "unprecedented sickness," 
the migration of "a countless multitude of squirrels," 
adds: "The splendid comet of that year long con- 
tinued to shed its twilight over the forests, and, as 
the autumn drew to a close, the whole valley of the 
Mississippi, from the Missouri to the gulf, was 
shaken to its center by continued earthquakes." 

Now, as the facts concerning the comet and the 
earthquakes, in these quotations from the two La- 
trobes, were known to Claiborne, for they are in his 
"Mississippi," his note is surprising as explaining Te- 
cumseh's speech. Tecumseh never made .that speech. 
Aside from the absurdity of its close, it does not 
breathe the well established humane spirit of Tecum- 
seh. In order to obtain scientific as well as literary 
evidence in regard to the appearance of that comet, a 
letter of inquiry was sent to the astronomer at Har- 
vard University, and, with the accustomed courtesy 
of the prof essors there, he soon returned the follow- 
ing reply: 

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Harvabd College 

Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 26, 1894. 

Dear Sir : — Your letter of November 20th is at 
hand. The comet you mention was discovered on 
March 26, 1811, and was visible to the naked eye in 
April, but only with difficulty. Its orbit was soon 
sufficiently determined to show that it would be 
nearer, and therefore brighter, in autumn ; and it is 
possible that this knowledge may have reached De- 
troit as early as July. During most of the summer 
the comet was too nearly in the same direction with 
the sun to be seen at all, but it reappeared August 
20r,h, and by August 26th was easily visible to the 
naked eve; it continued to increase in brightness 
during September, coming nearest to the earth on 
October 15th. By December it had become very 
faint. It could be" seen in this country as well as in 

With that brilliant comet, its tail according to 
Milne "132,000,000 miles long," shining over them 
night after night all through September, and being 
nearest the earth Octotober 15th, it is unreasonable 
to suppose Tecumseh to have said to those Creek war- 
riors, " Soon shall you see ray arm of fire stretched 
athwart the sky." Tecumseh had too much good 
sense to say that. Nor is it probable that he claimed 
to be able to shake the earth. The Claiborne speech 
is not given here, for it does no credit to Tecumseh. 
It rests on no authority. 

5. Leaving now these reports of Tecumseh among 
the Creeks, this of Claiborne, and also the one by 
Pickett which the reader will find in the notes, the 
most satisfactory statements at last are those of 
Dr. Ramsay. 

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He says, after mentioning Tecamseh's ardent bat 
savage* eloquence, " He reminded them of the usur- 
pation of their lands by the whites, and painted in 
glowing colors their spirit of encroachment, and the 
consequent diminution, and probable extinction, of 
the race of Indians; and contrasted their sedentary 
and unmanly occupations with the wild and fearless 
independence of their ancestors." This sounds like 
Tecumseh, and it does not appear that anything more 
accurate can now be obtained than was secured 
before the year 1818 by that noble son of Pennsyl- 
vania and South Carolina, Dr. David Ramsay. 

A few statements may here be added to show 
that Tecumseh could not have returned again to the 
South, as some historians state, in 1812. 

Instead of returning, as he proposed, to the 
Prophet's Town and in the spring of 1812 going to 
Washington to see the President and settle all 
difficulties, he found on his return to Indiana in 
December that the Prophet had gone contrary to his 
instructions, had fought and lost the battle of Tip- 
pecanoe November 7th, that the Prophet's famous 
town had been destroyed, that his great confederacy 
was breaking up, and he appeared in that same 
month of December, 1811, at Fort Wayne. He 
asked for ammunition. It was denied him. He said 
he would go to his British father. He " gave the 
war-whoop and went off." f 

*A. savage is not always cruel. When Proctor and Tecum- 
seh were together as commanders of the British forces, Proctor 
was evidently the more cruel, bloody savage of the two. 

fSee Brice's History of Port Wayne, page 202, 

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In the spring of 1812 the Indians commenced 
active hostilities. May 15, 1812, Tecumseh attended 
a couDcil at Mississinaway, thirty miles below Fort 
Wayne. In June he visited Fort Wayne, then went 
to Maiden. In July he was at Maiden with his 
warriors ready for the war, and was in the summer 
aiding General Brock in the region of Detroit. In 
August he led the Indians in the attack at Browns- 
town, in the first action after the formal declaration 
of the War of 1812. August 16th, when Detroit 
was captured, he was at the head of the Indians. In 
August of this year he was appointed a British 
Brigadier General. In September he began to 
assemble his forces to reduce forts Wayne and 
Harrison. Tecumseh continued actively engaged in 
the North, and in December of 18L2, with six hun- 
dred warriors, he was near the Mississina way towns. 
It is quite certain that he was not far from the scene 
of conflict when Frenchtown was taken January 22, 
1813. In April, 1813, he was at Fort Meigs. The 
siege continued till May 9th.* He was again at 
Fort Meigs at the second attack in July, when he 
led "two thousand warriors." He was associated 
with General Brock and also with General Proctor, 
and was killed October 5, 1813, at the battle of the 
Thames, called alsothe battle of the Moravian towns. 

It thus appears that Lossing, Parton, Drake, and 
others must be mistaken who claim that Tecumseh 

* Says Ramsay (vol. 3, p. 280): "The British force, including 
regulars and militia, during the siege, was supposed to have 
been upwards of one thousand. Their Indian auxiliaries were 
not fewer in amount. Among then the celebrated Tecumseh 
was particularly distinguished. The American garrison seldom 
exceeded twelve hundred, a very small portion of whom were 

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visited the Southern Indians a. second time, making 
that visit in the fall of 1812 or in the spring of 1813. 
It is true that the actual presence of Tecumseh in 
the Indiana Territory has not been shown for the 
months of October and November of 1812 ; but that 
he could have been absent from the " seat of war,'' 
could have gone South and visited all those Southern 
Indians, and returned, in those two months, is hardly 


1. Mention has been made of an effort to obtain 
documentary evidence of Teoumseh's visit from the 
War Department. The following are extracts from 
a letter from a valued friend residing in Washing- 
ton City, Mrs. Bessie Boone Cheshire : 

" Washington, P. C, Nov. 29, 1892. 
"Your letter of 24th inst. duly received. It is a 
source of much pleasure to be of use to you in the 
work in which your are engaged. Though I fear 
the resources at my command are not so great as you 
may think. There is no documentary evidence of 
Tecumseh's visit to the Creeks. Infact there are 
now no documents of any of the older Indian wars. 
* . * * The officials to whom I went were dis- 
posed to be very helpful. However they told me 
that no outside parties were ever allowed to examine 
documents — this was when I asked the privilege of 
examining the records— but that they would exam- 
ine and give me any desired information. I was told 
that " Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812" 
would furnish all that I had inquired for. And 
when I told them it was not historical but docu- 
mentary evidence that I wished, they told me there 
Was absolutely none; that if you sent or had sent 

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direct to the War Department for it they could only 
have referred you to tossing, page 187. 

" All this (lid not quite satisfy me, and having 

? trite a near neighbor who is an officer in the 
ndian Bureau I went to him about it. He told me 
to address a letter to the Commissioner of Indian 
Affairs, enclose yours to me, and send it through the 
mail, and then it would receive attention and what- 
ever they found would be sent to you direct from the 
office and would be official. This in a measure, 
relieved me as there was really nothing left for me 
to do. 

" This neighbor tells me that my letter with 
yours came to the Commissioner and was placed in 
his hands with a note from Commissioner Morgan 
in which he says : 

€i i Rev. T. H. Ball is a particular friend of mine 
and I shall esteem it as a personal favor if you will 
furnish him the desired information.' " 

Under date of December 22d the letter states 
that the neighbor called that morning to say that 
the office had a man looking up such old records as 

2. In due course of time the following, through 
the hands of my friend, Mrs. Cheshire, a lady of 
culture, interested in historical research, came 
through the mail from Washington : 



Office of Indian Affairs. 

Washington, December 31, 1892. 

Mrs. Bessie Boone Cheshire, 105 Eleventh St, & E, 


Madam: I am in receipt of your letter of 
December 1, 1892, forwarding a letter from Rev. 
T. H. Ball, of Crown Point, Indiana, dated Novem- 
ber 24, 1892, requesting definite information from 

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the records of this office as to the fact, whether or 
not the noted Indian Chief, Tecumseh, visited the 
Creek Indians in 1811, or in 1812, or both years, as 
Historical writers differ as to the time of said visit; 
but he had satisfied himself that Tecumseh was 
South at the time of the battle of Tippecanoe in 
1811, but wished to know authoritatively if he went 
South again in 1812, and refers to the fact that Col. 
Benjamin Hawkins at that time bad charge of 
Indian affairs in Georgia, and felt sure that in the 
records at Washington, his report of Tecumseh's 
visit could be found, if made. 

Rev. Mr. Ball gives as his reason for making 
this call for information, the fact that he, in com- 
pany with a friend in Mississippi, is preparing a 
work on the "Creek War in South Alabama," and 
that it has fallen to his lot to write up the chapter 
"Tecumseh's visit to the Creek Indians," and must 
have some documentary evidence, State paper or 
official report that he was surely there in 1812. 

In response to this request, I have caused the 
records of this office to be searched, but they fail to 
disclose any information on the subject. The pa- 
pers on file in this office, of that period, are very 
meagre indeed; the files were kept in the War 
Department, and when the papeis were transferred 
from that Department to this office in 1849, when 
the Interior Department was organized, and this 
office made a branch bureau thereof, but few of the 
records or files pertaining to such subjects -were 
transferred, so that if this visit was officially report- 
ed by Col. Hawkins, it must yet remain in the cus- 
tody of the War Department 

I would state however that reference is made in 
the American State Papers, of the visits of Tecum- 
seh to the Southern Indians, and your attention is 
invited to Volume 1, Indian Affairs, p. 799, where 
in a letter from General Harrison, dated Vincennes, 
December 4, 1811, to Wm. Eustis, Secretary of War, 

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he speaks of Tecumseh's tour to the Southward; and 
on page 800, in letters addressed to the War Depart- 
ment, mention is made in one from Vincennes 
dated August 6, 1811, that "Tecumseh did not set 
out till yesterday, he then descended the Wabash, 
attended by twenty men, on his way to the South- 
ward. After having visited the Creeks and Choc- 
taws, he is to visit the Osages and return by the 

In a letter from William Wells of Fort Wayne, 
dated March 1, 1812, to the Secretary of War, Mr. 
Eustis, he writes : 

" In my letter of the 10th ultimo, I informed 
you that the Indian chief, Tecumseh, had arrived on 
the Wabash. I have now to state to you that it ap- 
pears that he has determined to raise all the Indians 
he can, immediately, with an intention, no doubt, to 
attack our frontier. He has sent runners to raise 
the Indians on the Illinois and the Upper Mississippi, 
and I am told he has gone himself to hurry on tne 
aid he was promised by the Cherokees and Creeks." 
Idem, p. 806.) 

In an extract from General William Clark, of 
St. Louis, dated March 22, 1812, appears the follow- 
ing, viz: 

" The Winnebagoes, part of the Eickapoos, and 
some of the Pottawatomies are yet friendly to the 
Prophet and may ioin him again in the spring. His 
brother, Tecumseh, returned from the Southern 
tribes in December last. He made great exertions 
to get the Shawnees and Delawares of this territory 
to join the Prophet's army, but without suocess." 
(Idem p. 807.) 

The History of Alabama, by Albert James Pick 
ett, published in 1851, in two volumes, at Charles- 
ton, by Walker & James, has a chapter on Tecum- 
seh (Chapter x*xi., Vol. 2.) After stating that his 
father and mother were of the Shawnee family, 
were born and bred at Souvanogee (old Augusta) 

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upon the Tallapoosa, in Alabama, who removed to 
the forest of Ohio, where Tecumseh was born in 
1768, and referring to other visits to the Cherokees 
and Creeks, it states that — 

" After many conferences with the British, at 
Detroit, Tecumseh, in the spring of 1812, left that 
country with a party of thirty warriors mounted on 
horses, and shaped his course to the south. Passing 
through the Chickasaw and Choctaw Country, he 
was unsuccessful in arraying these tribes against the 
Americans. He went down to Florida and met 
with complete success with the Seminoles. In the 
month of October he came up to Alabama, crossed 
that river at Autauga, when he, for the first time, 
appealed to the Creeks iaa long speech. Continuing 
to Coosa wda, he had by this time collected many 
followers, who went with him to the Hickory 
Ground. Having from their boyhood heard of his 
feats in the buffalo chase, the bloody wars which he 
had conducted, and of his fierce and transcendent 
eloquence, the warriors flocked to see him. He went 
to Tookabatcha, where Colonel Hawkins was then 
holding his grand council with the Indians. * * 
Tecumseh visited all the important Creek towns, 
-enlisting all whom he could on the side of England. 
* * Tecumseh having made numerous proselytes, 
once more (November) visited the Big Warrior at 
Tookabatcha, whom he was particularly desirous to 
enlist in his schemes, but whom he had hitherto en- 
treated to no effect, although his house was his 
headquarters. * * * The common Indians be- 
lieved every word of Tecumseh's last speech, which 
was intended solely to intimidate the Big Warrior, 
and (in December) they began to count up the time 
it would take the Shawnee chief to reach Detroit, 
when he would stamp his foot, as he had declared." 

It seems that he became very angry with Big 
Warrior, and pointing his finger in his face, emphat- 
ically said, " Your blood is white. * * You do 

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not believe the Great Spirit sent me. You shall 
believe it. I will leave directly and go straight to 
Detroit. When I get there I will stamp my foot 
upon the ground and shake down every house in 
Tookabatcha." It appears that a mighty rumbling 
in the earth was heard soon after, which caused the 
houses of Tookabatcha to reel and totter. The 
people ran out, saying, "Tecumseh has got to De- 
troit ! Tecumseh has got to Detroit ! We feel the 
shake of his foot ! " 

In relation to this visit of Tecumseh to Alabama 
the author makes this note on page 246, Vol. 2 : 

"I have consulted General Ferdinand L. Clai- 
borne's MS. papers and Drake's Life of Tecumseh ; 
I have also conversed with Lachau Durant, Mrs. So- 
phia McComb, Peter Raudon, James Moore, and 
others, who were at Tookabatcha when Tecumseh 
arrived there." 

The letter of the Rev. Mr. Ball is returned here- 
with. Very respectfully 

T. J. Morgan, Commissioner. 

3. Among other efforts to arrive at facts in regard 
to Tecumseh, I wrote to Hiram W. Beckwith, Esq , 
of Danville, Illinois, who owns " what is probably 
the most valuable collection in the West on French- 
American history," a library which he has been 
twenty-five years collecting from dealers on both 
sides of the Atlantic, and which, it is said, "contains 
nearly every known book on the language, imple- 
ments, and manners of the aboriginal inhabitants, 
and their wars with the border settlers." 

The Governor u appointed him one of the Trus- 
tees of the State Historical Library, and his asso- 
ciates selected him as President of their board." 

From him, in answer to my special questions, I 
received the following statements, which, as he 
presents the same conclusions which my investiga- 
tions have reached, giving authorities to which I 

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have not had access, I think ought to be placed here, 
at the conclusion of this chapter. His letter is 
dated " Danville, Illinois, Dec. 16th, 1892." I omit 
the introduction : 

14 1st. On the 27th of July, 1811, 'Tecumseh, with 
about 320 or 330 men, women, and children, arrived 
at Vincennes.' [ Vide 'Memoirs of Gen. Harrison,' 
by Moses Dawson, Cincinnati, 1824, page 182.] This 
was the Shawnee's second personal visit to Gov. Har- 
rison, the first having been on August 12th, 1810." 

44 2d. 4 A few days after' the conclusion of the 
conference of 1811, Tecumseh accompanied by 
twenty men went down the Wabash.' 4 The day 
before he told Governor Harrison that after visiting 
the Creeks, Chickasaws, and Choctaws he would go 
to the Osages (in Missouri) and return by -the Mis- 
souri river.' 'He had given out the following spring 
as the time for his return, but the Governor had 
information that he intended to be absent no more 
than three months.' [ Vide same work, page 184.] 

"Just how long he was in the South, or the 
exact time of his return, is a matter I am without 
any authority to refer you. He was certainly back 
again upon the upper Wabash late the same year, or 
at least very early in that of 1812. 

"3d. His whereabouts in 1812 and thence on 
until his death, October 5th of the following year, 
can be so closely followed as to have given him no 
time whatever for any other visit to the Creeks or 
their neighbors. It will be recalled that the battle 
of Tippecanoe took place Nov. 7, 1811, 'during 
Tecumseh's absence.' Now, Little Turtle, the Miami 
chief, in his address to Gov. Harrison, dated at Fort 
Wayne, Indiana, January 25, 1812, referring to the 
results of that affair, says: 'All of the Prophet's 
followers have left him except two camps of his own 
tribe. Tecumseh has just joined him with only 
eight men.' [ Vide 4 Little Turtle to Gov. Harrison,' 
Mem. Gen. Harrison above, page 258.] 

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" Again, we find him at a grand council of several 
Indian nations, 'held at Massassinway (near its 
mouth) on the Wabash, May 16, 1812,' when he 
made two speeches. [Vide minutes of those 
proceedings, same volume, page 266.] On this 
occasion Tecumseh, alluding to the action of Nov. 
7th, said : ' Governor Harrison made war on my 
people in my absence.' The next month, ' on the 
17th of June, he came to Fort Wayne,' saying 'he 
was on his way to Maiden' (now Amherstburg, Can- 
ada, near the mouth of the Detroit river), to receive 
from the British government twelve horse loads of 
ammunition for the use of his people at Tippecanoe.' 
He went on to Maiden and was there a few days be- 
fore Gen. Hull's army arrived at Detroit, and there- 
upon ' declared he would join the British against 
the United States.' [ Vide 'Letter of Capt. Wm. 
Wells to Gov. Harrison, Fort Wayne, July 22, 1812, 
copied into the above volume, page 278.] 

'"On the 12th of July, 1812, his brother, the 
Prophet, reached Fort Wayne with nearly a hun- 
dred Winnebagoes and Kickapoos,' and went into 
camp near by. 

" A week later one of Tecumseh's messengers 
from the head of Lake Erie arrived at the Prophet's 
camp telling the latter ' to at once send their women 
and children towards the Mississippi, while the war- 
riors should strike a heavy blow on Vincennes, and 
that he, Tecumseh, if he lived, would join him in the 
country of the Winnebagoes,' then in Wisconsin. 
After the landing of Gen. Hull at Sandwich to at- 
tack Maiden, July 12, ' Tecumseh and a hundred of 
his Indians remained at the latter place with the 
British.' [ Vide same letter.] 

"Wm. S. Hatch, then Quarter Master in the 
American army, saw him on the streets of Detroit, 
Aug. 17th of the same year, and graphically de- 
scribes his appearance and dress. He was then an 
officer in the British service,[ Vide 'Hatche's Chapter 

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on the War of 1812,' page. 114], and on the 9th of the 
same month be had commanded the Indians in the 
engagement against the Americans a few miles below 
Detroit. [ Vide 'History of the Late War' (of 1812) 
by Capt. Robert McAflfe, Lexington, Ky., 1816, 
page 78]. 

'On the 18th of December, 1812, Ool. Campbell, 
attacked the Indian towns 'on the Mississiniway 
river* and 'learning from a prisoner that Tecumseh 
with six hundred warriors was but eighteen miles be- 
low him,' near the Wabash, 'did not think it prudent 
. to remain there any longer.* [Same volume, page 
181 to 182.] 

"Thus can we trace Tecumseh in 1812 and 1813 
from place to place on the northwestern frontier in a 
way that gives him no time to be absent from that 
field of military operation. 

"Truly yours, 

"Hiram W. Beokwith." 

The critical reader may notice that, as in the text 
of this chapter, so here in this letter, the presence of 
Tecumseh in the North has not been shown for the 
month of October, 1812, when some claim he was 
among the Creek Indians. But even granting that 
his presence on the Indiana Territory or in Canada 
for that month cannot be shown, I think enough has 
been shown to justify Mr. Beckwith's statement, that 
there was "no time," in the fall of 1812, when Te- 
cumseh could have been absent sufficiently long, 
"from that field of military operation," to make that 
visit described by Parton and by Drake. Mr. Beck- 
with adds in a postscript: 

"The authorities quoted are above all dispute. 
They are also quite rare. Dawson and Capt. Mc- 
Aflfe were on the Northern frontier in active service 

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from start to finish, and both had access to contem- 
poraneous writings as well as an extended personal 
intercourse with the leading officers in all military 
movements of those memorable campaigns." 

The writer of the foregoing chapter had access 
to Choctaw traditions to enable him to trace Te- 
cufiiseh's movements from place to pJace, almost 
from day to day; but the writer of this chapter has 
had no Creek traditions to aid him in making up the 
facts as recorded, but has been obliged to sift many 
statements to secure a few grains of unquestionable 
historic truth. And he is well aware that some 
critical readers may say, he has made a needless pa- 
rade of the work performed; but he hopes many 
readers will appreciate it at whatever may be its true 
value. T. H. B. 

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WAR was declared between the United States 
and Great Britain June 18, 1812. Into this 
war Tecumseh entered heartily in favor of the Brit- 
ish and against the Americans, as we have already 
seen. We are now to look at the Creek Indians in 
this year of 1812. 

The following are extracts from letters to the 
War Department, written by Colonel Benjamin 
Hawkins, and taken from Indian Affairs as pub- 
lished in American State Papers, commencing on 
page 304. 

Creek Agency, Feb. 3, 1812. 

Our Indians are, many of them, occupied in 
spinning, weaving, making new settlements, or im- 
proving those heretofore made. I believe nine-tenths 
of the Lower Creeks have left their old towns and 
formed,or are forming settlements on the creeks and 
rivers where the lands are good and the range for 
stock good. 

Creek Agency, April 6,1812. 

On the 26th ult., Thomas Meredith, Sr., a res- 
pectable old man, travelling with his family to the 
Mississippi Territory, was murdered on the post road, 
at Kittome.a creek 150 miles from this. Sam Macnac, 
a half breed, of large property, who keeps entertain- 
ment on the road, at whose house Meredith is buried, 
calls it an accident, 

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Colonel Hawkins then details circumstances and 
gives evidence showing that it was a murder. 

Creek Agency, May 11, 1812. 
I have iust returned from the council of the 
Lower Creeks, and have time only, by this mail, to 
write you a short letter. 

He then states (given here in an abridged form) 
that Charles Hicks,late United States interpreter for 
the Cherokees, by order of his chiefs, had sent a 
friendly letter to the Creeks, in which he said to 
them that if they joined the English in the coming 
war they would lose every foot of their land, but 
if they joined the Americans they would gain their 
friendship forever. To this the Creeks replied that 
they would not " interfere in the wars of white peo- 

Creek Agency, May 25, 1812. 

I was this day informed by Mr. Cornells, our in- 
terpreter for the Upper Creeks, that on the 23rd 
inst. a white man, William Lott, was murdered, 
eight miles this way from his home, by four Indians, 
without the least provocation. * * * 

The chiefs will meet in one week and we shall see 
what can be done. We have a report also that two 
families have been killed in Tennessee. 

Creek Agency, July 28, 1812. 
I have just time to inform you that the Indian 
who murdered Meredith was put to death on the 19th. 

Creek Agency Aug. 24, 1812. 
Those charged with the murder on Duck River 
are not yet come at. 

This massacre of the Tennessee families on Duck 
River and the treatment of Mrs. Crawley and child- 
ren, aroused strong feelings against the Creeks amon^ 

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the people of Tennessee. The reader will find, when 
he comes to the treaty of peace, at the close of the 
war, that Duck River was charged up against the 
Creeks along with Fort Mims. 

The Lower and Upper Creeks united their efforts 
in having justice dealt out to the murderers of Wil- 
liam Lott. We come now to 1813, the year of act- 
ual strife. 

By an act passed in Congress February 12, 1813, 
General James Wilkinson was authorized to pro- 
ceed to Mobile, then held by the Spaniards, and to 
take possession. March 8th, Commander Shaw, with 
General Wilkinson and his troops on board his fleet, 
reached Dauphine Island; and after a few days the 
following communication was sent to the Spanish 
commandant by the American General: 

Before Mobile, April 12. 

Sib: The troops of the United States do not ap- 
proach you as the enemies of Spain, but by order of 
the President they come to relieve the brave 
garrison which you so worthily command, from 
the occupancy of a post within the legitimate limits 
of the United States. I hope that you will peacefully 
retire from Fort Charlotte, and from the Mississippi 
Territory, to the eastern side of the Perdido river. 

This request was in a few days complied with.* 

General Wilkinson did not long remain at Mo- 
bile. He was ordered to Canada — in June he was 
passing through the " Creek Nation " on his way to 
the North — and Major General Thomas Flournoy, 
of Georgia, succeeded him in the command at Mo- 
bile, and of the Seventh military division. 

*I have taken the above from ClaiborneVMississippi," which 
in retard to official documents, I consider perfectly reliable.. 

T. H. B. 

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General Flournoy, June 28, 1813, ordered Briga- 
dier General Ferdinand L. Claiborne, with his brig- 
ade of six hundred Mississippi volunteers, to march 
from Baton Rouge to Mount Vernon, in order to be 
ready there "to repel any attack that may be made 
on any part of the frontier of the Mississippi Terri- 
tory, either from Indians, Spaniards, or English " 
Leaving Baton Rouge June 28th, this brigade 
reached Mount Vernon July 30th, 1813. "You will 
put yourself," General Flournoy's order continued, 
"in communication with Lieutenant Colonel Bowyer, 
who commands at Mobile and Mobile Point, who 
will give you the earliest information of any 
movement by the English or Spaniards, The 
defence of the town of Mobile will be your principal 

While the open war was between the Americans 
and the British, it was quite well understood that on 
the southern frontier both the Spaniards and Indians 
were likely to aid the British as against the Ameri- 
cans. The Spaniards and British had by turns been 
the nominal holders of Florida. 

Leaving now General Flournoy in command in 
the summer of 1813, and General Claiborne at 
Mount Vernon, we are ready to look at the uprising 
of a part of the Creek confederacy, or at what was 
called their civil war. 

J. F. H. Claiborne, in his "Mississippi," gives a 
letter written by General Wilkinson, when on his 
way northward, to one of the prominent citizens of 
Washington county, Judge Toulmin, which is dated 
— a misprint or mistake is here corrected — "Sam 
Manacs, Creek Nation, June 25, 1813." 

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In this letter he says : " Your favor of the 22d 
reached me near this place, surrounded by dangers ; 
but I am too far advanced to retreat.. Indeed, I dare 
not turn my back on reports, and, therefore, shall 
proceed this evening [afternoon] to Catoma, and 
to-morrow to Doyle's, where I expect to see the Big 
Warrior, who has begged an interview with me. He 
has been intrenched against the war party a week or 
ten days and lives in fear of his life, as his antagon- 
ists are daily making converts and increasing in 
strength, with the avowed intention to destroy him 
and all who have been concerned in the execution of 
the murderers; after which, it is believed by all with 
whom I have conversed, they expect to intimidate 
the rest of the nation to join them, and then it is 
their intention to make war on the whites. This 
seems to be the general impression ; but no one can 
tell or even guess where a blow will be struck." 
General Wilkinson then speaks of "one Joseph 
Francis," living on the road, who claimed to have 
" had a visit from the Lord," and who detailed the 
things revealed to him "in the manner most 
impressive on his barbarian auditors." General 
Wilkinson- also wrote that he was assured that 
Francis with more than three hundred followers 
was at a camp on the Alabama about sixteen miles 
above the Big Swamp, and that it was reported that 
this party was about " to move down the river to 
break up the half-breed settlements and those of the 
citizens in the forks of the river." 

He adds: 

" I know not what stress to lay on these wild 
reports, but the whole road is deserted — the Indians 
are all assembled, and their villages ahead of me, 
many towns on the Alabama and Tallapoosa and 
Coosa, are deserted, and consternation and terror 
are in every countenance I meet. I have considered 
it proper you should receive this information, and, 
therefore, I send back Weatherford with this infor- 

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raation for your government, and will onlv observe, 
that I think the volunteers should be called up to 
your frontier, without a moment's delay." General 
Wilkinson was now on his way to his command in 
Canada, and was travelling, the reader will notice, 
over that " Government road " through the Creek 
country. One quotation more: 

" I nave about twenty armed men, and our caval- 
cade consists of about forty persons. Our horses and 
carriages are in good order. * * * Colonel 
Hawkins is profoundly silent. Alexander Cornels 
has fled the country and I cannot hear of any 
preparation to succor the Big Warrior." The letter 
is signed "James Wilkinson, and is addressed "Hon. 
Judge Toulinin, Fort Stoddert." 

It appears from this letter that open war among 
the Creeks had not then commenced but might 
break out any day. Weatherford was at that time 
friendly. (Some suggest that the Weatherford 
mentioned in the letter was not the noted William 
but Jack Weatherford, but, if so, it will not affect 
the statement as a fact, although affecting it as a 
conclusion ; for as a fact it rests on other evidence.) 

The murderers referred to in this valuable letter 
are no doubt those concerned in the murder of 
Thomas Meredith and William, or as some call him, 
Arthur, Lott. General Woodward says : " I have 
often heard Sam Moniac say, that if Lott had not 
been killed at the time he was, it was his belief that 
the war could have been prevented."* 

* The student of history finds King Philip's war originating 
about as did the Creek war. 1. "It became evident to the 
Indians that the spreading settlements were fast breaking up 
their hunting grounds." 2. A converted Indian was found mur- 
dered. "The execution by the whites of three Indians, con- 
victed of the murder, may be considered as the immediate cause 
of the war.' 1 See Anderson's history of King Philip's War. 

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The following deposition copied from the Ala- 
bama Historical Reporter of June, 1880, is an inter- 
esting document which will show what plans some 
of the chiefs had formed as early as July 11, 1813, 
the time of the interview with Jim Boy or High 
Head Jim to which Sam Moniao refers. 

Mississippi Territory, Washington District. 

The Deposition of Samuel Mimae, of lawj hclage, 
a Warrior of the Creek Nation. 

About the last of October, thirty Northern 
Indians came down with Tecumseh, who said he had 
been sent by his brother, the prophet. They at- 
tended our council at the Tuccabache, and had a 
talk for us. I was there for the space of two or 
three days, but every day whilst I was there, Tecum- 
seh refused to deliver his talk, and on being re- 
quested to give it, said that the sun had gone too far 
that day. The day after I came away, he delivered 
his talk? It was not till about Christmas that any 
of our people began to dance the war dance. The 
Muscogees have not been used to dance before war, 
but after. At that time about forty of our people 
began this Northern custom, and my brother-in-law, 
Francis, who also pretends to be a prophet, was at 
the head of them. Their number has very much in- 
creased since, and there are probably now more 
than half of the Creek nation who have joined 

Being afraid of the consequences of a murder hav- 
ing been committed on the mail route, I had left my 
home on the road, and had gone down to my planta- 
tion on the river. I stayed there some time. I went 
to Pensacola with some steers, during which time, 
my sister and brother, who have joined the war 
party, came and got off a number of my horses and 
other stock, and thirty-six of my negroes. About 

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one or two and twenty days ago, I went up to my 
house on tbe road, and found some Indians camped 
near it whom I tried to avoid, but could not. An 
Indian came to me, who goes by the name of High- 
Headed Jim, and whom I found had been appointed 
to head a party sent from the Auttasee Town, on the 
Tallapoosa, on a trip to Pensacola. He shook hands 
with me, and immediately began to tremble and jerk 
in every part of his frame, and the very calves of his 
legs would be convulsed, and he would get entirely 
out of breath with the agitation. This practice was 
introduced in May or June last by the Prophet 
Francis, who says that he was instructed by the 
Spirit. High-Headed Jim asked what I meant to do. 
I said that I should sell my property and buy 
ammunition, and join them. He then told me that \ 
they were going down to Pensacola to get ammuni- ' 
tion,and that they had got a letter from a British Gen- 
eral which would enable them to receive ammunition 
from the Governor. That it had been given to the 
Little Warrior, and saved by his Nephew when he 
was killed, and sent down to Francis. High-Head 
told me that when they went back with their supply, 
another body of men would go down for another 
supply of ammunition, and that ten men would go out 
of each Town, and that they calculated on five horse 
loads for every Town. He said that they were to 
make a general attack on the American Settlements — 
that the Indians on the waters of the Coosa and Talla- 
poosa, and on the Black Warrior, were to attack the 
Settlements on the Tombigby and Alabama, particu- 
larly the Tensaw and Fork Settlements. — That the 
Creek Indians, bordering on the Cherokees, were to V 
attack the people of Tennessee, and that the Semi- ' 
noles and lower Creeks were to attack the Georgians. 
— That the Choctaws also had joined them and were 
to attack the Mississippi Settlements. — That the 
attack was to be made at the same time in all places 
where they got furnished with ammunition. I iound, 

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from my sister, that they were treated very rjgor- 
ously by the Chiefs, and that many, particularly the 
women among them, (two daughters of the late Gen. 
McGillivray, who had been induced to join them to 
save their property,) were very desirous to leave 
them, but could not. 

I found, from the talk of High-Head, that the war 
was to be against the whites and not between Indians 
themselves, — that all they wanted was to kill those 
who had taken the talk of the whites, viz.: the Big 
Warrior, Alex. Cornells, Capt. Isaac, Wm. Mcintosh, 
the Mad Dragon's son, the little Prince Spoko Kange 
and TallaseeThicksico. 

They have destroyed a large quantity of my 
cattle, and burnt my houses on my river plantation, 
as well as those of James Cornells and Leonard 

(Signed,) his 

Sworn and subscribed before me, one of the TL S. 
Judges for the Mississippi Territory, this 2d day of 
August, 1813. Harry Toulmin. 

A true copv^ 

Geo. f . Boss, Lt. Col. V. 

This deposition, although sworn to by as friendly 
and trusty a man as Sam Moniac, must not all be 
taken as reliable history. The reader must not sup- 
pose the October mentioned to be in the year 1812, 
as would be natural, but in 1811. In what year the 
Christmas was can only be conjectured, so far as the 
deposition is concerned. High Head Jim, whom 
Dr. A. B. Clanton of Leaf, Mississippi, calls Tuske- 
gee, and of whom he says: "In his person he was 
the beau ideal of a hero," "beyond all comparison 
the finest looking man" that he had chanced to see, 

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was evidently mistaken in some of his statements. 
Bat the critical reader will find these out for him- 
self. He can see what the River Settlements had 
reason to expect. How fully any plan for such a 
widespread extermination of the white settlers was 
matured, it is impossible now to ascertain ; but they 
were determined, evidently, to make an effort to 
prevent their own extermination, and the Spanish 
authorities at Pensacola had promised that, in the 
event of their failure, they would transport them all 
to the island of Cuba. 

About this same time, probably in July, 1813, 
Latecau, an Indian youth eighteen years of age, 
claiming to be a prophet, and collecting eight others 
as subordinate prophets, went to the old town of 
Coosa and invited all the unbelievers or friendly 
Indians to come and see the display of their magical 
powers. Many assembled. The prophets com- 
menced " the dance of the lakes," as taught by Te- 
cumseh's warriors, then suddenly gave the war- 
whoop, rushed upon three friendly chiefs and killed 
them. The other chiefs immediately retired to their 
own towns, assembled their warriors, returned to 
Coosa, killed the nine prophets, and then went to 
LittleOcfuskee and put to death some more of Tecum- 
seh's deluded followers. Thus, it seems, the civil 
war, so called, among the Creeks, began. The hostile 
bands also commenced killing the cattle of the 
friendly Indians, as Moniac testified, or driving them 
off and selling them. v 

Another valuable letter, in this connection, is the 
following from General Flournoy to General Clai- 
borne. The date is August 25, 1813. 

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"Sir: Your letters and documents, by express, 
have been received. As I have already written you, 
and likewise Governor Holmes, very fully on Indian 
affairs, I will not now go into further details. A 
recent letter from Colonel Hawkins (a copy herein 
enclosed), will show the situation of the Creek In- 
dians. They must finish their civil war before they 
go to war with us. And it is by no means certain 
that the war party will succeed in overpowering the 
party friendly to us." 

Some time between the date of these two letters 
it is evident that Weatherford joined the war party, 
for before August closed we find him at Fort Minis, 
General Woodward places it in 1813, but does not 
name the month. And it may be here observed that 
Tecumseh seems to have had no influence over 
Weatherford. Woodward says that Sam Moniac and 
Weatherford, returning from a trip into the Miss- 
issippi Territory, where they had been "trading in 
beef cattle, 5 ' found several chiefs assembled — it is 
said on Tallewassee Creek, a mile and a half from 
the Alabama River — and taking the "black drink."* 

These chiefs told Weatherford and Moniac that 
they must join them or be put to death. The fol- 
lowing are Woodward's own words: " Moniac 
boldly refused and mounted his horse.f Josiah 
Francis, his brother-in-law, seized his bridle. Moniac 

* This drink, a kind of tea, was made from the leaves of the 
Ilex Cassine, or holly of the Gulf states, and used on various oc- 

See Wood's botany and see Gatschet. 

+ Whether the trading in beef cattle took place after Moniac 
made his deposition August 2, 1813, or whether it took place be- 
fore he took his steers to Pensacola, or whether the two accounts 
nre different versions of one transaction, I will leave for the con- 
sideration of those understanding the principles of "higher criti- 
cism." T. H. B. 

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snatched a war club from his hand, gave him a severe 
blow and put out, with a shower of rifle bullets fol- 
lowing him. Weatherford consented to remain. 
He told them that he disapproved their course, and 
that it would be their ruin, but that they were his 
people, he was raised with them, and he would share 
their fate." General Woodward names among these 
chiefs Hopie Tustanuggee, or Far Off Warrior, a 
Tuskegee, their eldest or principal chief, "the one" 
says Woodward, "looked upon as the General," and 
who was killed at Fort Mims; Peter McQueen; Jim 
Boy or High Head Jim; Josiah Francis or Hillis 
Hadjo, "the new made prophet," probably the same 
who is called Joseph by General Wilkinson; Seekaboo 
the Shawnee prophet; and several others. He says 
that Weatherford offered some advice to these chiefs, 
but they declined to follow his suggestions. The 
reasons which Weatherford assigned for joining the 
war party, as detailed at some length by Woodward, 
are very creditable to Weatherford's humanity. He 
thought he would thus be the means of preventing 
not a little bloodshed. * 

* Brewer in his "Alabama," "from 1540 to 18*2." published 
in 1872, a work designed to be "indispensable to the intelligent 
Alabamian," says of General Woodward that he "had Indian 
blood in his veins," was reared on the frontier and among the 
Indians, coming into the Mississippi Territory from Georgia as 
early as 1810; that he was an officer in the Florida war of 1817 
and 1818, and was a brigadier general of militia. He says that 
he was an interesting man and a "famous character" in the Talla- 
poosa region. Brewer further says that his volume of Indian 
Reminiscences"attempts to confute many of the statements made 
by Pickett, Meek, Coxe, and others," and that he has himself, in 
his history, ' 'in part adopted" them. I think that in saying 
"confute" Brewer has used too strong a word here. It seems to 
me that all Woodward designed to do was, to give what he be- 
lieved to be facts, and thus to correct any errors into which Pickett 
and Meek had been led. 

Wishing to learn still more in regard to Woodward's Remi- 

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There is surely truth in Drake's remark that 
«<the process of fermenting a civil war was a long 
and doubtful one," so attached to the whites had the 
more intelligent chiefs become, although many of 
the Creeks may have believed, as did some of the 
Western tribes, that they were on the eve of a great 
revolution through which they would gain their lost 
ascendency in America. The pending struggle be- 
tween Great Britain and the United States with 
Spanish Florida to help the British seemed to be a 
favorable time for the attempt to be made. 

And so there came into what is known as 

"THE WAR OF 1812," 

continuing until 1815, the side issue, the Southern 
conflict, like a stirring episode into some great epic, 

U THE CHEEK WAR OF 1813 AND 1814." 

The main question at issue between the two fac- 
tions of the Creek nation was, whether they should ' 
undertake the extermination of the white settlers on 

niscences, I wrote to the present Secretary of State of Alabama, 
Hon. J. D. Barron, in regard to them, and in reply, in a letter 
dated Montgomery, May 19, 1894, he says that "in Woodward's 
letters * * * there is a great deal of useful and in- 
teresting information." "I give a great deal of credit to what he 
says, as I find a great deal of outside evidence to strengthen what 
he says." 

I have given this lengthy note because General Woodward, 
who died in 1861, is an authority often referred to in parts of this 
work. His little book of reminiscences is now very rare. The 
copy used for this work came from the hands of that excellent 
student of history, the late Dr. Lyman C. Draper of Wisconsin. 

General Thomas S. Woodward must certainly be regarded as 
a truthful man, and he had undoubted facilities for obtaining 
some valuable information. When he was not himself an eye- 
witness he may, like others, have been sometimes misled. But 
certainly by comparing, combining, and sifting statements, all 
designed to be true, we shall reach the probable facts. T. H. B. 

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their western borders. The Alibamos especially, says 
Pickett, — those joining these river settlers on the 
east, upon whose hunting grounds encroachments 
had already been made, — " were furious advocates of 
American extermination." Colonel Hawkins ac- 
knowledges that all the Alibamo towns, without ex- 
ception, were hostile. 

That war of extermination for which some of 
them had been preparing, was, as we shall soon see, 
precipitated upon them; and when they finally came 
into contact with American citizen soldiers they 
fought with a determination which some one has 
said, "has hardly a precedent in Indian contests." 
It is no wonder that they fought then, for the war 
became for them one for their homes, their hunting 
grounds, their burial places, their native land. 

That Confederacy of Indians known as the Creek 
or Muscogee, occupied a broad territory extending 
from the Oconee River in Georgia to the Alabama 
River, and it included a number of tribes. In 1791 
these tribes had fifty-two towns and some ten thou- 
sand members, including the women and children.* 
Their large division was into OpperCreeks and Lower 
Creeks. The map inserted here is sufficiently accur- 
ate to show the extent of the Muscogee lands. 

It was, and still is, a well watered region. On 
Colton's map of the states of Georgia and Alabama 
there are laid down more than fifty water courses of 

♦Bancroft, as quoted by Lewis H. Morgan in Indian Migra- 
tions, estimates the Indians east of the Mississippi and south of 
the Great Lakes, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, at 
about one hundred and eighty thousand; and of those Bancroft 
assigns to the Cherokees twelve thousand; to the Ghickasaws, 
Ghoctaws, and Muscogees fifty thousand. 

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various sizes that one would cross in passing from 
the Altamaha to Claiborne on the Alabama. 

This well known place is named, once Weather- 
ford's Bluff, two hundred and fifty steps leading up 
from the landing to the top of the bluff, as it is 
almost directly south from Tuscaloosa on the Black 
Warrior, near which locality a Creek chief, by per- 
mission of the Choctaws, had established himself ; 
and this meridian line continued northward is suffi- 
ciently accurate to mark the boundary in the pres- 
ent North Alabama between the Chickasaws and 
.Cherokees, and eastward of it, south of the Cherokee 
lands, will be indicated the Creek lands west of the 
Alabama on the Cahawba and on the upper Black 
Warrior. This meridian line, which would thus 
nearly mark the western limits of the Creeks in 
1813, is thirty miles east of the St. Stephen's meri- 
dian. The Creeks once claimed, perhaps held, as 
far west as the Tombigbee. 

Of the Upper Creek towns, according to Weather- 
ford and General Woodward, they were nearly all 
hostile except the Natchez and Hillabee towns, and 
were controlled largely by Menawa, or, as the name 
is now written by his grandchildren, Monahwee 
(known as Ogillis Incha or Fat Englishman), who 
commanded the Indian warriors at Tohopeka, called 
in English, Horse Shoe. Also there should be ex- 
cepted the Tookabatchees who adhered to Big War- 
rior and some of the Coshattees with their leader 
Captain Isaacs. 

Gatschet, Migration Legend, Voa II, pages 189, 
190, gives the following as the names of the hostile 
Upper Creek towns, his orthography not being 

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adopted: Hoithlewahlee, Fooshatchee, Kolumee, 
Ekanhatkee, Sawanogee, Muklasa, Ochee-apofa, 
Oakchoyuchee, Pochus-hatchee, Pakan-talahassee, 
Wakokayee, Wewaka. These towns " made them- 
selves red." So Gatschet translates itchatidshalgi. 
The Alibamo towns, which are counted among the 
Upper Creeks, have already been named as hostile. 

The Lower Creeks, under the influence more 
largely of Colonel Hawkins, were, for the most part, 
friendly. Noted among these friendly Indians were 
General William Mcintosh, a Creek chief of the tribe 
of the Cowetas, Mad Dragon's Son, and Timpony 
Barnard of the Uchees. 

In the narration of events we left Weatherford 
with the war party on the east of the Alabama, 
surely, according to the letter of General Wilkinson, 
in July or August of 1813. And some of that party 
very soon proceeded to Pensacola, then the great 
mart of trade, to procure military supplies. On 
their return occurred the attack and defense known 
as the Battle of Burnt Corn, which will be detailed 
in another chapter 


Note. — It seems fitting to append here some ex- 
tracts, if lengthy, yet interesting and valuable, from 
the memoranda of Mr. George S. Gaines, origi- 
nally published in the Alabama Historical Eeporter. 
With some members of the Gaines family I have 
been personally acquainted, and these memoranda 
I am sure are reliable. T FT R 

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"A Creek chief, known as O-ce-o-chee-mot-la, 
obtained permission of the Ohoctaws to make a set- 
tlement at the falls of the Black Warrior, so that the 
hunters of each tribe might have a resting place 
when visiting each other. This settlement had in- 
creased to many families before I took charge of 
the U. S. Choctaw trading house at St. Stephens 
(1805), and they traded with us. I was in the habit 
of extending a credit to the old chief of about a 
hundred dollars, which he always paid off at his next 
visit, but expected the same indulgence after he had 
finished bartering. During the spring and fall of 
every year he came down the river with a fleet of 
canoes to visit me. In the fall of 1811 he arrived 
with a large fleet manned by thirty or forty warriors, 
and having each canoe freighted with larger cargoes 
than usual of skins and furs, etc. At that time 
Tandy "Walker, who had lived many years in the 
Creek nation as a "public blacksmith," sent by the 
government for the benefit of the Indians, resided 
in the neighborhood of St. Stephens. He learned 
their language and was a great favorite, and when 
O-ce-o-chee-mot-la came down to trade with me he 
acted as interpreter. 

On the present occasion I noticed that the old 
chief was exceedingly anxious to make me believe 
that he was very much attached to me. He informed 
me that he had acted upon my advice in relation to 
building a good store bouse, and now brought with 
him several hundred dollars' worth of peltries, etc., 
to purchase a supply of goods for his store — that I 
had offered him credit several times before to the 
amount of several hundred dollars. 

Next day, after this conversation, the Chief re- 
marked he would make his debt an "old hun- 
dred" (one thousand) this time. I replied that the 
times were changed. The British government had 
a misunderstanding with the President which 

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tof ; :."- : r *™J CREEK WAR. 

r'mtgtt egd in a war, and it would be unwise in 
' The' ' to : " "allow Kim to contract so large a 
debt and imprudent in him to do so. He remarked 
that his friend, Tandy Walker, who was a man of 
property, would be his security for one or two "old 
hundreds," While this conversation was progressing 
I noticed Walker was greatly troubled, and was 
endeavoring to appear calm. I reiterated I could 
only let him have the usual amount of credit under 
the existing circumstances. But the crafty Chief 
was not to be put off so readily, and entered into an 
ingenious argument to overcome my objections. 

The sun went down and I told the chief that it 
was time to prepare for sleep, and we would "tell 
each other our dreams in the morning." Bidding 
me good night with assurances of affection and 
respect, he led his party off. In a few minutes 
Walker returned and leaning over the counter he 
whispered to me, " I told the chief I left my knife in 
the store so that I might come back and speak to you 
privatelv. Meet me at the Rock at midnight. Let 
no one know of this, for our lives depend upon 
secrecy." Before I could answer he was gone. At 
midnight I went cautiously to the "Hanging Rock," 
so called because it projected over the bluff of the 
river, near the old Spanish Fort. Walker was there, 
and he whispered, "let us go further in the thicket." 
He then informed me, still in a whisper, that the 
Creeks had determined to join the British in the war 
about to commence. The Chief of the Black War- 
rior settlement proposed to unite with him in obtain- 
ing all thegoods they could probably get from me; 
and that Walker should take his family up to the 
Falls of the Warrior and enjoy half the profits of 
the business. " Before the time to pay for the goods 
there will be no one to demand it, for the trading 
house will be the first object to capture when the 
war begins," the chief had told him many times since 
proposing the scheme. He consented, fearing that 

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if he did not the Indians would immediately attack 
the place, but took care to impress O-ce-o-chee-mot-la 
with the danger of offending me, as my brother was 
a war chief much loved by the President. 

Walker remained with me only a few minutes, 
fearing his absence would be discovered by the 
Indians and that they might suspect the object of 
his mission, which would certainly, he assured me, 
result in the destruction of us all. The balance of 
that night was passed without sleep because of the 
uneasiness I felt. There were no troops in St. 
Stephens and but few men — not more than six or 
seven all told. 

Next morning the chief and his warriors came to 
the store apparently in excellent spirits. He inquired 
what I had dreamed. I replied, " I dreamed there 
was a war. The English came over in their ships 
and engaged some of the northern tribes to assist 
them to fight, but the President's warriors soon drove 
the English back over the great waters, leaving the 
Indians who helped them to suffer alone." O-ce- 
o-chee-mot-la said, " I dreamed that my good friend 
sold me all I wanted, and when I reached home my 
people said, Mr. Gaines is a great man — he is a man 
of his word and our Chief, who has always told us 
this and how Mr. Gaines trusted him, is a man of 
but one talk !" I said to him, I was obliged to 
believe my dream, and it was useless to waste words 
in idle talk. After bartering his cargoes and obtain- 
ing his usual credit he departed with his fleet, and I 
never saw him again. 

Rumors of the rapidly increasing bad feeling 
of the Creek Indians rendered the settlers on the 
Alabama and Tombigbee rivers very uneasy during 
the year of 1812, checking emigration to a great 
extent. In the fall of this year Tandy Walker 
called on me to inform me that he had just learned 
from a Creek Indian that a white woman had been 
brought from Tennessee as a prisoner to Tuscaloosa 

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by a party of Indians returning from a visfit to the 
Shawnees on the northern lakes. Mrs. Gaines, who 
was present, said to Walker that he ought by all 
means to endeavor to rescue the woman and bring 
her down to the white settlement. "Walker replied he 
would try to effect her release, but it would be at 
the risk of his life. He proposed to walk up to the 
falls on pretense of paying a visit to his old friend 
O-ce-o chee-mot-la and lull suspicion by declaring 
his ad he ranee to the cause of the hostile Indians. 
He would then obtain a canoe, buy or steal the 
woman and bring her down the river. He departed 
immediately, returning in about two weeks with the 
woman in a canoe. She was in a very feeble con- 
dition, her mind a good deal impaired by suffering, 
and her limbs and feet were still wounded, caused by 
the hardships she was forced to undergo after she 
had been captured. Mrs. Gaines took charge of her 
and after a week's tender nursing her mind appeared 
to be restored. 

Her name was Crawley. Her home was in a 
new settlement near the mouth of the Tennessee 
river. During the absence of her husband, a party 
of Creek Indians rushed to her house and while they 
Stopped to murder two of her children who were 
playing in the yard she concealed her two youngest 
in a potato cellar under the floor. The Indians 
broke open the door and dragged her out with the 
intention of killing her, but concluded to take her to 
their town. They compelled her to *cook for them on 
the march, but offered no other violence. 

After her recovery, we sent Mrs. Crawley home 
with a party of my friends who were going through 
the wilderness to Tennessee * * * The Legis- 
lature of Tennessee voted thanks and an amount of 
money to Tandy Walker for his agency in this affair. 

I promptly communicated to the War Depart- 
ment the conduct of the chief O-ce-o-chee-mot-la on 
his last visit to the Trading House ; also Mrs. Craw- 
ley's capture and rescue. 

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THE writers who have treated of the " Creek 
War" briefly are many. Those who have gone 
much into the details are few. And these few seem 
to have had influences bearing upon them which led 
them to take different views of the same facts or 
sometimes to disagree i n regard to the facts. Claiborne, 
to whose large work reference has already been made, 
doubtless meant to be, as he says in his Introduction 
that he has striven to be " truthful and impartial ;" 
but it is difficult to read several things in his "Mis- 
sissippi,' 9 without thinking that bis strong feelings 
and sympathies and his love for that brilliant rher 
toric, which he knew how to command, have un. 
duly colored some of his statements. He objects 
strongly to the view which Colonel Hawkins, the 
, Government Agent among the Creeks, took of Te- 
cumseh, as Claiborne himself gives that view, and of 
Colonel Hawkins' claim that there would not be 
much war if the Creeks were let alone. He says 
that General Flournoy was misled by Colonel Haw- 
kins' representations concerning the degree of civil- 
ization attained by the Creeks and their peaceful 
disposition towards the whites: He makes this state- 
ment: "Even after the massacre at Fort Mims, 

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Colonel Hawkins reiterated these assurances, laid the 
blame of that affair on the Tombigbee people, and 
declared that the war would be i a civil war among 
the Creeks and not on the whites,' if let alone." 

Claiborne adds: " Unfortunately General Flour- 
noy adopted these views and forbade any aggressive 
movement on the savages." 

Pickett also speaks of Colonel Hawkins as* hav- 
ing been "strangely benighted," not properly realiz 
itig the clanger that existed. It is not designed to 
suggest, here, who had the most accurate knowledge 
of the real state of affairs among the Creeks, — some 
of Brewer's statements will appear in other chap- 
ters, and the readers will have other facts before 
them on which to form their own ooinions — but it is 
certain that the inhabitants of these river settle- 
ments, these pioneers along the Mobile and Tensaw 
and the Alabama and Tombigbee, saw a dark look- 
ing war cloud rising to the eastward, and that they 
felt it needful, and that it was needful, for them to 
do the best which they could do in preparing for 
self-defense. They therefore erected as speedily as 
possible stockades, which they called, in the language 
of war, forts, in which they spent quite a little time 
in the summer and fall of 1813. No dates have 
been found giving the exact time of the erection of 
the stockades in Clarke county, but it is evident 
that some were erected in July. 

An enumeration and some description of these 
forts is the object of this chapter, including also 
some erected long before 1813. 

1. Fort St. Stephens, established by the French? 
probably about 1714, held afterwards by the Span- 

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ish, who made there a settlement about 1786, 
given up by the Spaniards to the Americans 
in 1799, ha3 been already mentioned. So far as 
the Creek Indians were concerned, this was con- 
sidered an impregnable fortress. As this locality, 
the old St. Stephens, will be again more fully men- 
tioned, it needs no further notice here, only the 
statement that it was on the west bank of the Tom- 
bigbee, on a high bluff, at the head of sloop naviga- 

2. Fort Stoddart, as established by United States 
troops in July, 1799, has also been named, with its 
stockade and bastion. As this was for some years a 
government post, held by United States troops, and 
became a port of entry where the Court of Admi- 
ralty was held, it was of course a strong point. In 
1804 Captain Schuyler of New York was com- 
mander here, with eighty men, Edmund P. Gaines 
was Lieutenant, and Lieutenant Reuben Chamberlain 
was paymaster. At Fort Stoddart duties were ex- 

. acted on imports and exports.* Four miles west of 
Fort Stoddart was Mount Vernon. 

3. Passing down the river, a strong fort was lo- 
cated at Mobile called Fort Charlotte. Another 
was also constructed here, Fort Bowyer. 

4. Going now northward, on the east side of the 
Alabama, two miles below the u cut off," a quarter 

*A beautiful, or at least an instructive and strong example of 
the effect of duties on articles reaching the consumer was shown 
here in 1807. In that year the Natchez planters in the western 

Sart of the Mississippi territory paid for Kentucky flour four 
ollars per barrel, and the same flour brought round by Mobile 
and there subjected to Spanish duties, and coming up the river 
past the Port Stoddart port of entry, cost the Tombigbee planters 
sixteen dollars a barrel. 

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of a mile from the Tensaw Boat Yard, was the ill- 
fated Fort Mims. This was built in the summer of 
1813 and will be again noticed. When the erection 
of this stockade was commenced is uncertain, per- 
haps in July, and, according to Pickett, its last block 
house was never finished. 

This might be called No. 1 of the stockades 
erected especially for protection against the Creeks, 
bat the former notation will be continued. 

5. Fort Pierce was a small stockade some two 
miles south-east of Fort Mims. It took its name 
from two brothers, William Pierce and John Pierce, 
who came from New England and made there their 
home in Spanish times. William Pierce was a wea- 
ver and John Pierce a teacher. 

6. Crossing the Alabama and coming into the 
new Clarke county, we reach Fort Glass, built some- 
time in July at the home of Zachariah Glass by 
himself and his neighbors, Nah-hee, called a Tory 
Creek, an intelligent Indian, employed in the Creek 
war as a scout, assisting, it is said, in the building. 

7. Fort Madison was in the north-east corner of 
section one, township six, range three east of the St. 
Stephen's meridian, on the water-shed line, which 
was then the eastern boundary of Clarke County. 
As will be seen from the accompanying cut, it was 
north of Fort Glass only two hundred and twenty- 
five yards, and the two stockades constituted one 
locality, being the center of the quite large Fort 
Madison neighborhood. The first store in this 
region was about due east from Fort Madison, on the 
Alabama River, distant six miles, opened, probably, 
in 1812; and one of the first grist mills was built 

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tf(? Yard 






. Well 


"' - \\ 

~rf \\ 


* *\ 

<* * 

Q Church 




> I Port 

1 ft 


| \ Glass 

75 Yds. * 


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about the same time, perhaps about four miles north; 
and in 1813 the first cotton gin in the vicinity was 
erected some two miles north. This was one of the 
seven principal settlements in the then new Clarke 
county and the region west of the Alabama. As is 
evident from the mention of the store and the mill 
and the gin, and the plantations that were opened 
around these, it was an important locality for these 
settlers to hold. 

Fort Madison contained not quite an acre of 
ground, having been, as will be seen from the cut, 
sixty yards square. A trench three feet in depth 
was dug around the outside and bodies of pine trees 
cut about fifteen feet in length were placed perpen- 
dicularity in the trench side by side, making thus a 
wall of pine wood twelve feet in height. Port 
holes were cut at convenient distances so as to en- 
able the inmates to look out, and in case of an attack 
to fire upon the beseigers. In about the same way 
all these stockades of 1813 were constructed. They 
were lighted at night by means of the abundant 
pitch pine placed upon scaffolds, covered with earth, 
erected for the purpose. Additional securities were 
added at Fort Madison and an improved method of 
lighting introduced, which will be by and by men- 
tioned. Within this enclosure, bearing the name of 
the President of the United States, were the tents 
and cabins of the settlers of that neighborhood, and, 
after its erection, the date not certain, Fort Glass 
was occupied by the soldiers.* 

* From information gathered in Clarke county, in the region 
occupied by several of these forts, it seems that when General 
Claiborne reached Mount Vernon, July 30th, he immediately 
ascertained what could then be learned about the Burnt Corn 

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8. Fort Sinquefield was about ten miles north of 
Fort Madison, on the western side of Bassett's 
Creek, a large stream of water for a creek, on section 
thirteen, township eight, range three east, a smaller 
stockade built very much in the same manner. As 
the map in this book will show, it was about five 
miles south-east from the present town of Grove Hill, 
formerly called Macon, the county seat m of Clarke 
county. This fort stood on atable-lanclor height of 
ground extending for a mile north and south. East- 
ward is a gentle slope which terminates finally in 
the Bassett's Creek valley. Westward are deep 
valleys and narrow, between large, high ridges of 
land. No actual hill is within miles of this 
locality, yet the ascent from the valleys to the top of 
the ridges or table, might be called going up hill. 
The spring which supplied this stockake with water 
is south of west, in one of the deep valleys, distant 
two hundred and seventy-five yards. 

Ninety feet distant from the once stockaded 
ground, in a north-west direction, are some graves. 
A few rods eastward of the fort ground is supposed 
to be an old burial place, although here the traces of 
the graves were not distinct in 1879. * One of the 
principal highways of Clarke county runs directly 
by this locality, but, as it has been for many years a 
family home, no traces of the stockade outlines can 

action, and in regard to the stockades around the residences of 
Glass, Lavier, Sinquefield, White, Easley, and Carney, which of 
course were then already erected; and that he sent Colonel Carson 
with two hundred mounted men to Fort Glass; and that after 
their arrival Fort Madison was immediately constructed. This 
fixes the date some time in August. It may be added here that 
General Claiborne also sent Captain Scott with a company of 
men to St. Stephens, to occupy the old Spanish block-house, 

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be found here which are still so distinct at forts 
Glass and Madison. 

9. Fort White was a small stockade a short dis- 
tance north-east of the present Grove Hill. 

10. Landrum's Fort was eleven miles west from 
Fort Sinquefield; on section eighteen, township 
eight, range two east. 

11. Mott's Fort was in the same neighborhood. 
These both were small. 

12. Going now tothe Tombigbee River and north- 
ward, Fort Easley was on section ten or eleven, town- 
ship eleven, range one west, at what is now called 
Wood's Bluff. This fort was named, as were nearly all 
others, from a prominent settler in the neighborhood, 
and the bluff took its name from Major Wood, an offi- 
cer in the Burnt Corn expedition. This stockade was 
on a small plateau containing about three acres. On 
the side next to the river the bluff is almost a perpen- 
dicular wall, there is "a bold spring of water flowing 
from its side," and the descent is quite abrupt from 
this plateau above and below the stockade ground, 
making this fort a naturally strong position. 

General Claiborne visited this stockade about the 
last of August, having received a report that it 
would be attacked by the Indians. It is possible 
that some of the Creeks started this report to call 
attention away from the real fort which they de- 
signed to attack, that Fort Mims, which was fifty 
miles south and twelve miles east from Fort Easley. 

13. Turner's Fort was some eight mi^es south 
and five west, in the west bend of the Tombigbee 
River, near the residence of Abner Turner. This 
fort was built of split pine logs doubled and con- 

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tained two or three block-bouses. It was held by 
the citizens of the neighborhood, thirteen men and 
some boys forming the garrison that expected to 
protect the women and children. Two or three miles 
distant, on the river, was a Choctaw reservation 
known as Turkey Town, called by the Choctaws 
" Fakit Chipunta," Little Turkeys. In this stockade 
were members of the Turner, Thornton, Pace, and 
other families, early settlers in what became the 
delightful West Bend neighborhood. Here for a 
time resided Tandy Walker, who is mentioned 
in the Gaines records, who was " a most experi- 
enced and daring backwoodsman ;" but in the sum- 
mer of 1813 he was connected with the affairs at 
Fort Madison. 

The inmates of the two forts, Turner's and Eas- 
leys', held religious services in their fort life. At 
Fort Easley a camp-meeting was held, probably in 
August, which some from the other stockade at- 
tended. The "love feast " on Sunday morning was 
held outside the fort, but guards were stationed to 
give warning if any attacking party of Indians ap- 

14. Passing, now, down the river, on the west 
side, five miles below Coffeeville, about a mile from 
the river, was Cato's Fort. 

* Among those attending this meeting from West Bend was 
lira. Martha Pace, known in her later life as Aunt Patsy, born 
about 1800, then a girl of thirteen, with whom I became ac- 
quainted in 1859, and who mentioned the incident of the " love 
feast/' when she was about eighty years of age, a very active, 
even then, and noble hearted woman. In this West Bend neigh- 
borhood* at the home of Hon. Eli 8. Thornton, among those who 
were in the Turner fort and their descendants, I spent nearly two 
years.— T. H. B. 

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15. Still further west, in Washington county, was 
Rankin's Fort, quite a large stockade, and the most 
western one of the River Group. 

16. McGrew's Fort was in the corner of sec- 
tion one, township seven, range one west, about 
three miles north of Fort St. Stephens, in Clarke 
county, five miles north and eighteen west from Fort 
Madison. It is claimed that the area here enclosed 
with palisades was about two acres. Some of the 
posts were remaining in 1879, and around the fort 
locality was an old field. Here two brothers, Will- 
iam McGrew and John McGrew, British royalists 
then, refugees, probably, from the Atlantic coast, 
made an early settlement near the Tombigbee River. 
McGrew's Reserve, an old Spanish grant, is still 
a landmark in Clarke county. These brothers left 
the reputation of having been exemplary men, and 
of having become good Americans. How many 
families were in this fort is not known. 

17. Six miles south from Jackson, at Gullet's 
Bluff, was Fort Carney, on the line of travel to 
Mount Vernon. This fort was built by Josiah Car- 
ney, who settled on the river in 1809.* 

18. Three miles south of Fort Carney, near Oven 
Bluff, was Powell's Fort, where were about six 
families, including those of John McCaskey, James 
Powell, and John Powell. 

* At this stockade an incident occurred illustrating the state- 
ment that skill, acquired through disobedience, may be useful, 
la one of the families was a girl about fourteen years of age who 
found the large water course attractive, but whose father, know 
ing nothing about the management of a boat, fearing no doubt 
for her safety, had forbidden her to go to the river. One day an 
alarm was given that the Indians were near, and the families 
hurriedly sought safety on the west side of the rlvtr, But how 

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19. Lavier's Fort, written sometimes by mistake 
or misprint Rivier's, was built, so far as has been 
ascertained, (the only authority is an aged colored 
man, Dick Embree), near the residence of Captain 
Lawson Lavier, who traded with the Choctaw 
Indians. It was built by himself and a few neigh- 
bors, but its locality is not known. Pickett names 
it, but no resident of Clarke County was found in 
1877 who knew anything of it. 

20. At Mount Vernon, to which as General 
Claiborne's headquarters we now come, and where 
was a United States arsenal, were two forts. An 
arsenal was maintained here until 1861, and since 
1865 this has been held as a United States post, 
where a few officers and soldiers may always be 
found. Near the parade ground are some of those 
beautiful trees known as live oak, and the long leaf 
pine growth extends a long distance northward. 
The landing place on the river, known .as Arsenal 
Wharf or Fort Stoddart, four miles distant, the early 
United States "port of entry," is distant from Mobile 
by the river channel forty-five miles, and five miles 
further north by the river brings one to the head of 
the Mobile River, the union of the Alabama and 

should this family cross, when the father could neither paddle 
nor row? The daughter procured a boat, and, to the astonish- 
ment of her father, took them all rapidly over the river. And 
then the fact came out that she had slipped off secretly to the 
river when opportunities offered and by practice had learned to 
take a boat across that current. What her father said or did 
tradition has not preserved, but that girl, surely not generally 
disobedient nor wayward, grew up to womanhood, became Mrs. 
Blackwell, one of the highly respected women of Clarke county, 
and died near Jackson in the fall of 1879, eighty years of age. If 
disobedient she was at least, in her girlhood, a heroine, and in 
her womanhood we may be sure she did not encourage disobe- 

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Tombigbee. The Mobile River, of the formation of 
which, judging from the school maps of Guyot and 
others, many must be ignorant, is fifty miles in 
length. Mount Vernon is distant now from Mobile 
by railroad only twenty-nine miles. As a place 
supposed to be very secure the two forts there, in 
the summer of 1813, are said to have been "packed." 
How many people were in these different stockades 
at any one time is not certain. But after the alarm 
caused by the massacre at Fort Mims there were at 
Forts Madison and Glass more than one thousand 
citizens and soldiers. At Fort Carney there were 
about four hundred. Rankin's Fort contained five 
hundred and thirty. How many hundred were at 
St. Stephens and at Mount Vernon is not known. 

In these river settlements there were at that 
time, it has been already stated, about two thousand 
whites and two thousand blacks, taking for the basis 
of authority the United States census of 1810. 

Besides these twenty or twenty-one forts, so 
called, which were in the line of the river settlements 
proper, two forts, named Roger's and Patton's, were 
constructed in what is now Wayne county, Mississ- 
ippi, Patton's Fort at Winchester and Roger's Fort, 
six miles above. There was little use for these, how- 
ever, and no real need, for the Creeks were not 
likely to cross the Tombigbee and go into the Choc- 
taw territory. In fact families of Clarke county 
instead of trusting themselves in the stockades and 
enduring the inconveniences of thus living, for even 
a few weeks, crossed the Tombigbee and selected 
camping grounds far enough west to be, as they 
thought, out of danger. Among some such was the 

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family of Mrs. Oathell, a widow with four sons and 
four daughters, having come into Clarke county 
from Georgia in 1812. Two of her sons went as 
soldiers against the Indians. She dreaded to have 
them leave her, saying that she had lost two brothers 
in the Revolutionary War and she felt sure these sons 
would fall in the coming conflict. And they did fall 
with so many others at Fort Mims. Disliking fort life 
for herself, as she had experienced it in her girlhood 
in the war of the Revolution, she with the other 
members of her family and ten or twelve other fam- 
ilies crossed the river and went into camps. 


1. Soort after the return of the Cathell family 
into Clarke County, one of the daughters, Jane Cath- 
ell, was married to Captain William R. Parker, and 
with her, eighty-four years of age in April, 1879, the 
writer of this chapter became acquainted. She had 
good use of her faculties, was intelligent and spright- 
ly in mind, her eyes rather dim, but her hearing 

She died suddenly in May, 1879, falling "lifeless 
to the floor, from the chair in which she was sit- 

2. That this fort life, although a necessity with 
many for a time, was to many mothers with their 
little children not pleasant, is evident from the state- 
ments of Mrs. Mary Cammack, with whom also this 
writer was acquainted. She was born in April, 
1789, in South Carolina, was married in Kentucky 
in 1804, came into the Mississippi Territory in 1810, 
and when visited by the writer in August, 1874, then 
eighty-five years of age, was active, intelligent, 

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cheerful, and recounted with a ready recollection 
the events of her earlier life. In 1810, for some five 
weeks, five hundred Choctaw Indians had camped 
within sight of her husband's cabin, near the Clarke 
county water-shed line. She reported them as well 
behaved, drinking no whiskey, not attempting to 
steal or plunder. Their chief was the noted Push- 
mataha. But when the Indian troubles commenced 
sixteen out of the seventeen of her husband's pack 
horses were taken by the Creek Indians, and the fami- 
ly were all soon obliged to seek safety in Fort Madison. 
But Mrs. Cammack expressly said/she did not think 
the behavior of some of the white people in the fort 
was equal to the conduct as she saw it of Pushma 
taha's Choctaws. The practices of some of them 
she very much disliked. And it is very evident, 
however virtuous these pioneer settlers were, as they 
had lately come from Georgia and the Carolinas, 
from Tennessee and Kentucky, that life in a crowded 
stockade, to sensitive mothers and little children, 
could not be pleasant. 

Mrs. Mary George Cammack, in 1813 twenty- 
four years of age, then the mother of four children, 
was a woman of more than ordinary physical and 
mental endowments, as many of our pioneer women 
were, and hers I consider to be first class testimony, 
as an observing and unprejudiced woman, for all 
facts within her range of knowledge connected with 
the Creek Indian troubles of 1813. 

3. This note is for the lovers of curious facts. 

Mrs. Cammack was the mother of thirteen chil- 
dren, and these facts appear in examining the years 
in which they were born. The first birth was in 
1805, and then the births were in each odd year, or 
every other year, until the year of the fort life, the 
year of dangers and alarms. As one illustration of 
the alarms, fifteen Indians, before fighting had com- 
menced, called one day at her home, and so startled 
her that she took refuge in the home of a neighbor. 

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No child was born in 1813. Then beginning 
with December, 1814, the other children were all 
born in the even years, thus: 1805, 1807, 1809, 1811, 
—1814, 1816, 1818, 1820, 1822, 1824, 1826, 1828, 
1830. What could be more regular in birth years? 

A new England writer of note, some years ago, 
questioned the statement of a Sunday-school man 
in regard to families in the South having as many as 
eight and twelve children. Many of our question- 
ings doubtless display our ignorance rather than 
our knowledge, for it is well known by those who 
have the means of knowing that many such large 
families were and still are in the South. 



J J ST O /0 


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TIIE Creek confederacy, in undertaking war 
against the Federal Government, was entering 
upon a conflict, that, for disparity of numbers and 
resources, never had a parallel in the annals of savage 
warfare. However little the ignorant and deluded 
warriors may have reflected over the magnitude of 
this undertaking, the wiser of their chiefs knew that 
the confederacy, even with British and Spanish aid, 
could not successfully cope with the Federal power, 
unless they secured the alliance of the powerful 
nation of the Choctaws on their western border. 
Many efforts were made to accomplish this object. 
It was at some period in July that a council was 
held between the two nations, at or near the present 
town of Pushmataha, in Choctaw County, Alabama. 
The Choctaws were chiefly represented by Push- 
mataha, Moshulitubbee, and Huanna Mingo. It is 
not known what Creek chiefs represented the con- 
federacy. During the conference there were regular 
communications between the Choctaws and the 
whites, then in the fort at Winchester. About mid- 
way between the two places, lived a citizen, a white 
man, named Robert McLaughlin. Every event 
occurring at the council was conveyed to McLaugh- 

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lin by a Choctaw messenger, and thence by 
McLaughlin through a white messenger to the whites 
at Winchester. The council lasted several days, the 
Creeks urging the Choctaws to join them in war 
against the whites, the Choctaws, on the contrary, 
contending for peace and appealing to their national 
tradition that they had never shed the blood of white 
men in war and they must not begin it now. Push- 
mataha was the principal speaker on the part of the 
Choctaws. It is said that he spoke the greater part 
of two days endeavoring to dissuade the Creeks from 
war. The council at last terminated with the Creeks 
bent on war, and the Choctaws firmly resolved that 
they would not co-operate with them in the impend- 
ing conflict. 

A tradition states that another attempt was like- 
wise made by the Creeks to secure the alliance of at 
least a portion of the Choctaw people by means of 
a conference which Weatherford and another Mus- 
cogee chief, named Ochillie Hadjo, had with Mingo 
Moshulitubbee. But it, too, resulted in failure. It 
can not now be determined whether this conference 
occurred before or after the inter-tribal council, of 
which we have given some account above. 

Both history and tradition agree that much 
interest was manifested by the Choctaws in the war 
impending with the Creek confederacy, and that 
they were resolved to maintain their peaceful rela- 
tions with the Americans. During this exciting 
period, before the actual clash of arms had begun, 
councils were held at various places in the Choctaw 
nation, in which the most noted Mingoes made talks 
expressing their sympathy for the American cause 

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and urging upon their warriors the duty of living at 
peace with the whites ; and in every council was 
iterated the national tradition that the Ohoctaws 
had never shed the blood of white men in war. 

No apprehension of Choctaw hostility was felt 
by the frontier people living along the Choctaw 
border, in the old counties of Wayne and Hancock. 
It is true that there were two forts built in Wayne 
county, Patton's Fort, at Winchester, and Soger's 
Fort, seven miles above. But the whites had taken 
temporary shelter in these forts, not on account of 
their Choctaw neighbors, with whom they lived 
daily in perfect concord, but from the fear of a 
possible inroad from the dreaded Creek warriors to 
the east of the Tombigbee. 

But the case was somewhat different in the fork 
of the Tombigee and Alabama, where the people 
lived on the border of the Creek nation. Some 
solicitude prevailed there, for a brief period, among 
the new settlers in regard to Choctaw fidelity. The 
older Settlers, however, who had been acquainted 
with the Choctaws for many years, did not share in 
this solicitude, but were confident that the Choctaw 
people would not deviate from that long-tried and 
unwavering friendship, which they had ever mani- 
fested toward the Americans. 

Had the Choctaws united with the Creeks at the 
inception of the war of 1813, as has been truly said, 
in less than thirty days, the whole Southern frontier 
would have been drenched in blood ; and the Federal 
Government, hampered, as it was with war else- 
where, would have been forced to put forth its 
mightiest effort to retain a hold upon the territory of 

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the South-west. But the Choctaws, true to the old 
tradition, did not break their record as steadfast 
friends of the whites ; nay, even more, for as the 
war progressed, hundreds of their warriors enlisted 
in the armies of Claiborne and Jackson. Nojapse 
of time should ever permit the people of Mississippi 
and Alabama, the old historic South-west, to forget 
this action of the Choctaw people. The story of 
their fidelity to the American cause should never be 
permitted to pass into oblivion. 

As a fitting close to this chapter, we quote from 
Claiborne's Mississippi the following eulogium upon 
this race of Southern red men : " Honesty on the 
part of the men and chastity of the women were 
characteristics of the Choctaw people, the real pro- 
prietors of the domain of Mississippi, whose tradi- 
tions have been preserved in the names of our 
streams and our counties, which should ever remind 
us and our posterity, that, when we were but a 
feeble people, they fought for us the martial Mus- 
cogee; and when we had become numerous and 
opulent, in the darkest days of our history, when 
pressed to the earth by a superior adversary, when 
we had no reward to hold out, only our broken lances 
and shattered shields, they came to our aid and 
shared with us the doom of the vanquished. Mis- 
sissippi, if she survives for a thousand years, as God 
grant she may, should never forget the brotherhood 
that binds her to this noble race, born under her own 
stars and skies." 

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The account of the international council of the 
Creeks and the Choctaws rests upon the authority 
of the late venerable Edmund Chapman of Newton 
County, Mississippi, who was an inmate of the fort 
at Winchester, at the time the council occurred. 

The tradition in regard to Weatherford and 
Moshulitubbee was related to the writer in 1877, by 
the late Mr. G. W. Campbell of Noxubee County, 
Mississippi, he receiving the statement in early life 
from one of Moshulitubbee's noted captains, named 
Stonie Hadjo, who died in Noxubee County, about 

The statement in regard to the attitude of the 
Choctaws towards the whites is based upon conver- 
sations and correspondence with several aged fron- 
tiersmen, now dead a number of years, who lived in 
Wayne and Jefferson counties during the Creek War. 
These informants, without exception, were unani- 
mous in their statements, that nowhere along the 
Choctaw border, and at no time, were there the 
slightest manifestations of hostility towards the 
Americans. One of these informants was the late 
venerable Mr. Archibald McArthur, of Winston 
County, Mississippi, whose early life was passed 
among the Choctaws, and who was for several years 
connected with the Presbyterian Choctaw Mission at 
Emmaus. The statements of tbese trustworthy in- 
formants, who had every opportunity to know the 
real facts, are utterly at variance with the state- 
ments in Claiborne's 'Mississippi, page 396, in regard 
to the Choctaws, and that " the Chickasahay towns 
began to paint and to chant their war-songs." This 
sentence strikes us as a mere rhetorioal flourish. We 
are compelled to accept the evidence of these old 
frontiersmen as conclusive. H. S. H. 

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From the letter of General James Wilkinson, 
much of which has been quoted in a preceding chap- 
ter, we learn that more than three hundred hostile 
Creeks, under the Prophet Francis, were camped, on 
the 25th of June, at the Holy Ground. General 
"Wilkinson writes : " The last information received 
of their doings was on Wednesday [the 23d of 
June], by Ward's wife, who has been forced from 
him with her children. She reported that the party, 
thus encamped, were about to move down the river 
to break up the half-breed settlements, and those of 
the citizens in the fork of the rivers. " While this 
was, no doubt, the real and ultimate design of the 
hostile Creeks, it was first necessary to put them- 
selves on a thorough war footing by procuring sup- 
plies of arms and ammunition from Pensacola. With 
this object in view, at some period in the early part 
of July, a party of Creeks, comprising a portion, if 
not all, of the hostile camp at the Holy Ground, 
with many pack-horses, took up the line of march 
for Pensacola. This party was under the command 
of Peter McQueen, at the head of the Tallassee war- 
riors, with Jim Boy, as principal war chief, com- 
manding the Atossees,* and Josiah Francis, com- 

*Pickett in his narrative has here evidently made a slip, 
writing Autaugas for Atossees. H. S. H. 

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manding the Alibamos. Pickett gives the entire 
force as amounting to three hundred and fifty war- 
riors ; Colonel Carson, in a letter to General Clai- 
borne, estimates them at three hundred ; but General 
Woodward, in his Reminiscences, simply states that 
their numbers have been greatly overrated. u On 
their way," writes Pickett, " they beat and drove 
off every Indian that would not take the war-talk. '* 
On their arrival at Burnt Corn Spring, situated at 
the crossing of the Federal and the Pensacola roads, 
they burned the house and corn-crib of James 
Cornells, seized his wife and carried her with them 
to Pensacola, where she was sold to Madame Ba- 
ronne, a French lady, for a blanket. A man, named 
Marlowe, living with Cornells, was also carried pris- 
oner to Pensacola. Cornells, it seems, was absent 
from home, at the time of this outrage. We hear of 
him, soon afterwards, at Jackson, on the Tombigbee> 
"mounted on a fast-flying grey horse," bringing to 
the settlers the tidings of Creek hostilities. 

The perilous condition of the southern frontier 
at this period, the early part of July, is well por- 
trayed in the following passages from Pickett : "The 
inhabitants of the Tombigbee and the Tensaw had 
constantly petitioned the Governor for an army to 
repel the Creeks, whose attacks they hourly ex- 
pected. But General Flournoy, who had succeeded 
Wilkinson in command, refused to send any of the 
regular or volunteer troops. The British fleet was 
seen off the coasts from which supplies, arroSj am- 
munition, and Indian emissaries, were sent to Pen- 
sacola and other Spanish ports in Florida. Every- 
thing foreboded the extermination of the Americans 

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in Alabama, who were the most isolated and de- 
fenceless people imaginable." 

When Colonel Joseph Carson, commanding at 
Fort Stoddart, was informed that the above men- 
tioned force of Creek warriors had gone to Pensa- 
cola, he despatched David Tate and William Pierce 
to the town to ascertain the intentions of the Creeks 
and whether Governor Manique would grant them a 
supply of ammunition. The information gained by 
these spies and reported on their respective returns, 
all summed up, was that the Creeks, on their arrival 
in Pensacola, had called upon the Governor and 
presented him a letter from a British general in Can- 
ada. This letter had been given to Little 
Warrior when he was in Canada and at his 
death was saved by his nephew and after- 
wards given to Josiah Francis, The Creeks, whether 
right or wrong, supposed that this letter requested , ' 
or authorized the Governor to supply them with * 
ammunition. The Governor, in reply, assured them 
that it was merely a letter of recommendation, and 
at first refused to comply with their demands. He, 
however, appointed another meeting for them, and 
the Creeks, in the meanwhile, made every exertion 
to procure powder and lead by private purchase. 
According to Tate's information, which he received 
from some of the prisoners whom the Creeks had 
brought down with them, their language breathed 
out vengeance against the white people, and they 
dropped some hints of attacking the Tensaw settlers 
on their return. The Creeks finally succeeded in 
their negotiation with the Governor, who issued an 
order supplying them with three hundred pounds of 

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powder and a proportionate quantity of lead. To 
obtain this large supply, McQueen handed the Gov- 
ernor a list of the towns ready to take up arms, 
making four thousand eight hundred warriors. Even 
this large amount of ammunition was not satis- 
factory to the Creeks ; they demanded more, but it 
seems that Manique yielded no further to their de. 
mands. The Creeks now openly declared that they 
were going to war against the Americans ; that on 
their return to the nation they would be joined by 
seven hundred warriors at the Whet Stone Hill,* > 
where they would distribute their ammunition and 
then return against the Tombigbee settlers. They 
now held their war-dance, an action equivalent to a 
formal-declaration of war. 

Such was the information brought by the spies 
from Pensacola, and their evidence clearly shows 
that the disaffected section of the Creek Confederacy 
was now committed to open war against the Ameri- 
cans. No other construction can be placed upon the 
words and actions of the agents or reprsentatives of 
this disaffected section, — the hostile party in Pensa- 
cola. We may conjecture that this party left Pensa- 
cola about the twenty-fourth of July, but, as will be 
noticed hereafter, it seems that it was only a part of 
the force, mainly under the command of Jim Boy ? 
that took up the line of march, while the greater 
party, from some cause, tarried a while longer in 

A slight incident here, perhaps, is worthy of being 
placed on record to the credit of Jim Boy. While in 

* The hill o 1 «rhich the present town of Lownsboro' is situ- 

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Pensacola the Creeks met with Zachariah McGirth 
a man well kaown in the Creek nation. Some of the 
Creeks wished to kill him. But Jim Boy interposed 
and said that the man or men that harmed McGirth 
should be put to death. 

In the meanwhile, the inhabitants of the Tom- 
bigbee and the Tensaw were in a state of great alarm. 
Many had abandoned their farms and taken refuge 
in the forts situated along the Tombigbee and the 
Alabama. Judge Toulmin, writing from Fort Stod- 
dart, the twenty-third of July, says, " The people 
have been fleeing all night." This brief sentence 
clearly reveals the alarm and anxiety pervading the 
Alabama frontier at this period 

Upon the report of the spies from Pensacola 
relative to the action of Governor Manique and the 
Creeks, Colonel James Caller, of Washington 
County, the senior militia officer on the frontier, 
forthwith ordered out the militia. A force was soon 
embodied and enrolled under his command. Colonel 
Caller resolved to intercept the Creeks on their return 
and capture their ammunition. His command, at 
first, consisted of three small companies, two from 
St. Stephens, commanded respectively by Captains 
Baily Heard and Benjamin Smoot, and one company 
from Washington County, commanded by Captain 
David Cartwright. With this force Colonel Caller 
crossed the Tombigbee at St. Stephens, Sunday, July 
25th ; thence passing through the town of Jackson, 
he marched to Fort Glass, where he made a short 
halt. At this place he was reinforced by acompany 
under Captain Sam Dale, with Lieutenant Walter G. 
Creagh as second in command. Another force had 

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also joined him in the expedition commanded by 
William McGrew, Robert Callier, and William Brad- 
berry. The whole party were well mounted and 
carried their own rifles and shot guns, of every size 
and description. Captain Dale carried a double 
barrel shot gun — an unusual weapon in that day. An 
eye-witness has described Colonel Caller at Fort 
Glass as wearing a calico hunting shirt, a high bell- 
crowned hat and top boots and riding a large fine 
bay horse. Leaving Fort Glass,the party bivouacked 
the ensuing night at Sizemore's ferry, on the west 
bank of the Alabama River. The next morning they 
crossed the river, the horses swimming by the side 
of the canoes. This occupied several hours. They 
now marched in a southeastern direction to the cow- 
pens of David Tate, where a halt was made. Here 
Colonel Caller received another reinforcement, a 
company from Tensaw and Little River, commanded 
by the brave half-breed, Captain Dixon Bailey. The 
whole force, composed of white men, half -breeds and 
friendly Indians, now numbered one hundred and 
eighty men, rank and file, in six small companies. 
From the cow-pens they marched to the intersection 
of the Wolf-trail and the Pensacola road, at or near 
the site of the present village of Belleville, in Cone- 
cuh County, where they camped for the night. The 
next morning, the twenty-seventh of July the com- 
mand was reorganized. William McGrew was 
chosen Lieutenant Colonel, and Zachariah Phillips, 
McFarlan, Wood, and Jourdan were elected to the 
rank of Major. It is stated that this unusual num- 
ber of field officers was made to satisfy military 
aspirations. The command now took up the line of 

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march down the Pensacola road, which here ran, 
and still runs, parallel with Burnt Corn Creek. 
About eleven o'clock the spies returned at a rapid 
rate and reported that they had found the enemy 
encamped near Burnt Corn Creek, a few miles in 
their advance, and that they were busily engaged in 
cooking and eating.. A consultation of the officers 
immediately took place, and it was decided to take 
the Creeks by surprise. The troops were thrown 
into three divisions, Captain Smoot in front of the 
right, Captain Bailey in front of the centre, and 
Captain Dale in front of the left. 

As the descriptions of the Burnt Corn battle 
ground given by Meek and Pickett are somewhat 
vague and inaccurate, a more correct account of the 
topograpy, gained from personal observation, is here 
given to the reader. Burnt Corn Creek, near which h 
the battle was f ought,runs southward for several hun- 
dred yards, then making an abrupt bend, runs south- 
eastward for half a mile or more. Eight at the elbow of 
the bend is the crossing of the old Pensacola road. 
The low pine barren enclosed in this bend — not a 
peninsula as called by Pickett — is enveloped by a 
semicircular .range of hills, which extends from the 
creek bank on the south some half a mile below the 
crossing, and terminates on the west at the bank, 
some three hundred yards above the crossing. This 
western terminus is now locally known as the Bluff 
Landing. The Pensacola road from the crossing 
runs northward some two hundred yards, then turn- 
ing runs eastward half a mile, making a continuous 
and gradual ascent up the slope of the hills, and 
then again turns northward. The spring, now 

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known as Cooper's Spring, is situated about half a 
mile nearly east of the crossing, and about one hun- 
dred and fifty yards south of the road. It gushes 
forth at the base of a steep hill and is the fountain 
head of a small reed-brake branch, which empties 
into the creek about two hundred yards below the 
crossing. The hill, at the base of which the spring 
is situated, is about the centre of the semicircular 
range of hills which envelops the pine barren. 
About sixty yards northwest of the spring, between 
the spring and the road, is a comparatively level 
spot of land, about an acre in extent. This spot, 
we conjecture, was the Creek camp, or at least 
where the main body was encamped, as it is the 
only place immediately near the spring suitable for 
a camp. The hill here rises steep and abruptly to 
the northeast, and a hostile force could well ap- 
proach and charge down this hill within close gun- 
shot of the camp before being seen. This locality., 
famed as the battle ground of Burnt Corn is in 
Escambia County, one-half a mile from the line of 
Conecuh County, on the north. 

As reported by the scouts, the Creek camp was near 
the spring, and their pack-horses were grazing around 
them. No rumor of the foe's advance had reached 
their ears; all were careless, off their guard and 
enjoying themselves, for good cheer was in the 
Muscogee camp. Their martial spirits, as we may 
well imagine, were not now stirred by thoughts of war 
and bloodshed, but were concentrated on the more 
peaceful delights of cooking and feasting, the pleas- 
ures of the pot, the kettle, and the bowl. 

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The Burnt Corn battlefield was in the unorganized part of 
Mississippi Territory (in the Indian country proper), in the year 
1813. Monroe county organized in 1815, included Burnt Corn. 
In 1818 the same locality was in Conecuh county, established 
that year. Now, it seems, it is in Escambia county, established 
in 1868, although Brewer, writing in 1872, still places the battle 
ground of Burnt Corn in Conecuh. (The following cut will 
give some idea of the locality). 

| Escambia ' County 

Line // 


... .. v - ......V... f ^p ^ ^ ^ J. 1 u ^. 

1 o Bluff; Landing C v """:?\ 

***** ... / 

\ I Creek Cam-p 

in til Crosamq _ ^"^fi 

if N: - 

g Si 

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Colonel Caller's troops, as we may conjecture, 
must have turned to the left, off the road, perhaps 
near the Red Hollow, about a mile distant from the 
spring, and thence approached the Creek camp 
from the northeast and east, as from the nature 
of the country this was the only route they 
could have taken so as to surprise the Red 
Stick campT* The troops moved cautiously and 
silently onward until they reached the rear of the 
hill that overlooked the Creek camp. Here, Pickett 
says, they dismounted; but Meek says the main body 
dismounted; yet neither Pickett nor Meek makes 
any statement as to the disposition of their horses — 
whether they were tied or were consigned to the 
care of a guard, or whether each trooper, as he dis- 
mounted,lef t his horse to shift for himself. From the 
fact that many of the horses fell into the hands of 
the enemy, one is led to the conjecture that no regu- 
lar system was employed, but that every man did 
that which was right in his own eyes. After dis- 
mounting, the troops moved silently to the crest of 
the hill, whence they made a rapid .charge down its 
slope and opened fire upon the Creek camp, as the 
red warriors stood, sat, or reclined in scattered groups 
over the ground. The Creeks, though startled by 
this sudden and unexpected onset, quickly sprang to 
arms, returned the fire, and for several minutes 
bravely withstood the charge of the whites, then 
gave way and retreated in wild confusion to the 

*The hostile Creeks were often called "Red Sticks/' because 
their war-clubs were inrariably painted red. "Red Stick" was 
considered an honorable appellation, and as such it will occasion- 
ally be used in this work. "Red Stick War" is the name by which 
the War of 1813 is still known among the Creeks of the Indian 
Territory. H. S. H. 

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creek. Early in the fight a Creek woman and a 
negro man were slain. It is stated that the latter, 
who wasimsily engaged in cooking, had ample time 
to make his escape, but being a slave and non-com- 
batant, he doubtless apprehended no danger from 
the whites. A portion of the troops pursued the 
Indians to the creek — Meek says they even drove 
them across the creek into a reed-brake beyond — 
but we think this latter statement exceedingly doubt- 
ful. While these were performing this soldierly 
duty, the more numerous party devoted their ener- 
gies to capturing and leading off the pack-horses. 
This led to a disastrous reverse. The Creeks in the 
cane and reed-brakes soon saw the demoralization of 
the greater part of the whites and the fewness of 
the assailants confronting them. They rallied, and, 
with guns, tomahawks and war clubs, rushed forth 
from the swamp, and with the fiercest cries of ven- 
geance charged upon their foes and drove them 
headlong before them. Colonel Caller acted bravely, 
but unable to restore order, he commanded the 
troops to fall back to the hill so as to secure a 
stronger position and there to renew the battle. The 
plundering party, misconstruing this order, and see- 
ing the fighting portion of the troops falling back 
before the enemy, were now seized with a panic, and 
fled in wild confusion, still, however, notwithstand- 
ing their terror, driving their horses before them, 
some even mounting their prizes so as to more 
quickly escape from the fatal figld. In vain did 
Colonel Caller, Captain Bailey and other officers en- 
deavor to rally them and pursuade them to make a 
stand against the foe. Terror and avarice proved 

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more potent than pride and patriotism, and the 
panic-stricken throng surged to the rear. Only 
about eighty fighting men now remained, and these 
had taken a stand in the open woods at the foot of 
the hill. Commanded by Captains Dale, Bailey, and 
Smoot, they fought with laudable courage for an 
hour or more under the fire poured upon them by 
McQueen's warriors from the cover of the thick 
and sheltering reeds. The battle may now be briefly 
described as "a series of charges and retreats, irregu- 
lar skirmishes and frequent close and violent en- 
counters of indviduals and scattered squads." It 
was noticed that the Creek marksmanship was in- 
ferior to that of the Americans. It was in the fight 
at the foot of the hill that Captain Dale was 
wounded by a rifle ball, which struck him in the left 
side, glanced around and lodged near the back bone. 
The captain continued to fight as long as his strength 
permitted, and then threw aside his double barrel 
into the top of a fallen tree. This gun, we may here 
state,Dale recovered after the war from an Indian, at 
Fort Barancas. About the same time that Dale 
was wounded, Elijah Glass, a twin brother of David 
Glass, was slain. He was standing behind another 
soldier, who was in a stooping position, when a rifle 
ball struck him fatally in the upper part of the 

The battle now at last began to bear hard upon 
the Americans. Two-thirds of the command were 
in full retreat, and no alternative lay before the fight- 
ing portion but to abandon the field, which they did 
in the greatest disorder. Many of them had lost 
their horses, some of which had been appropriated 

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by the fugitives, and others, in some manner, had 
fallen into the hands of the enemy, among these, the 
horses belonging to Colonel Caller and Major Wood. 
The troops now fled in all directions. Some succeed- 
ed in reaching and mounting their own horses; 
others mounted the first horses they came to; in 
some cases, in their eagerness to escape, two mount- 
ing the same horse; while others actually ran off 
afoot. It was a disgraceful rout. 

"After all these had left the field," writes Pickett, 
"three young men were found, still fighting by them- 
selves on one side of the peninsula, [bend,] and keep- 
ing at bay some savages who were concealed in the 
cane. They were Lieutenant Patrick May, a pri- 
vate named Ambrose Miles, and Lieutenant Girard 
W. Creagh. A warrior presented his tall form. 
May and the savage discharged their guns at each 
other. The Indian fell dead in the cane; his fire, 
however, had shattered the Lieutenant's piece near 
the lock. EesolviDgalso to retreat, these intrepid 
men made a rapid rush for their horses, when Creagh, 
brought to the ground by the effects of a wound 
which he received in the hip, cried out 'Save me, 
Lieutenant, or I am gone'. May instantly raised him 
up, bore him off on his back, and placed him in the 
saddle, while Miles held the bridle reins. A rapid 
retreat saved their lives. Reaching the top of the 
hill, they saw Lieutenant Bradberry, bleeding with 
his wounds, and endeavoring to rally some of his 
men." This was the last effort made to stem the 
tide of disaster. 

Two young men were slain in the battle, 

Ballard and Elijah Glass, both it is believed, being 

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members of Dale's company. Ballard had fought 
with great bravery, Just before the final retreat, he 
was wounded in the hip. He was able to walk, but 
not fast enough to reach his horse, which in the 
meantime, had been appropriated by one of the fug- 
itives. A few of the soldiers returned and succes- 
sively made efforts to mount Ballard behind them 
on their horses, but the Indians pressed them so 
closely that this could not be done. Ballard told 
them to leave him to his fate and not to risk their own 
lives in attempting to save him. At last the Indians 
reached him, and for some moments, he held them 
at bay, fighting desperately with the butt of his 
musket, but he was soon overpowered and slain. 
Several Indians now sprang forward, scalped him 
and began to beat him with their war clubs. Two 
of the retreating soldiers, David Glass and Lenoir, 
saw this. Glass was afoot, Lenoir mounted. "Is 
your gun loaded," asked Glass of Lenoir. "Yes," 
was the reply. "Then shoot those Indians that are 
beating that man yonder." Lenoir hesitating, 
Glass quickly spoke, "Then lend me your gun." 
Exchanging guns, Glass then advanced a few paces 
and fired at two or three of the Indians whose heads 
happened to be in a line, and at the discharge one of 
them fell, as Glass supposed, slain or wounded. This 
was the last shot fired in the battle of Burnt Corn, 
which had lasted from about midday until about 
three o'clock in the afternoon. 

The Creeks pursued the whites nearly a mile in 
the open woods and nothing but their inability 
to overtake them saved the fugitives from a 
general slaughter. Pickett writes: " The retreat 

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continued all night in the most irregular manner, and 
the trail was lined from one %pd to the other with 
small squads, and sometimes one man by himself. 
The wounded travelled slowly, and often stop- 
ped to rest." Such was the result of the battle )^ 
of Burnt Corn, the first engagement in the long and 
bloody Creek War. Most of the Creek pack-horses, 
about two hundred pounds of powder and some lead 
was all the success the Americans could claim from 
this engagement. Their loss was two men killed, 
Ballard and Glass. Fifteen were wounded, Captain 
Sam. Dale, Lieutenant G. W. Creagh, Lieutenant 
William Bradberry, shot in the calf of the leg; Arm- 
strong, wounded in the thigh ; Jack Henry, wounded 
in the knee ; Robert Lewis, Alexander Hollinger, Wil- 
liam Baldwin, and seven others whose names have 
not been preserved. 

The Creek loss is not positively known. Colonel 
Carson, in a letter to General Claiborne, written a 
few days after the battle, states that from the best 
information it was ten or twelve killed and eight or 
nine wounded. 

As to the numbers engaged at Burnt Corn, we 
know that the American force numbered one 
hundred and eighty. General Woodward, in his 
Reminiscences, states, on the authority of Jim Boy, 
that the Creek force was two-thirds less. He writes. 
u Jim Boy said that the war had not fairly broke 
out, and that they never thought of being attacked ; 
that he did not start [from Pensacola] with a 
hundred men, and all of those he did start with were 
not in the fight. I have heard Jim tell it often that 
if the whites had not stopped to gather up the pack- 
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horses, and had pursued the Indians a little further, 
they, the Indians, would havtf quit and gone off. 
But the Indians discovered the very great confusion 
the whites were in searching for plunder, and they 
. fired a few guns from the creek swamp, and a general 
stampede was the result. McGirth always corrobo- 
rated Jim Boy's statement as to the number of 
Indians in the Burnt Corn battle." 

The above, perhaps, may be regarded, in some 

measure, as the Creek version of Burnt Corn. If 

- possession of the battlefield may be considered a 

claim to victory, then Burnt Corn may well be 

regarded a Creek victory 

After the battle, a part of the Red Sticks retraced 
I J their steps to Pensacola for more military supplies, 
and a part returned to the nation. Their antagonists, 
Colonel Caller's troopers, were never reorganized after 
the battle. They returned home, in scattered bands, 
by various routes, and each man mustered himself 
out of service. About seventy of them on the 
retreat collected together at Sizemore's Ferry, where, 
for a while, they had much difficulty in making their 
horses swim the river. David Glass finally plunged 
into the stream and managed to turn the horses' 
heads towards the other shore. * After the horses 
had all landed on the further bank, the men crossed 
over in canoes. 

Colonel Caller and Major Wood, as we have 
related, both lost their horses at Burnt Corn. As 
the fugitives shifted, every man for himself, these 
two officers were left in the rear. They soon became 
bewildered and lost their way in the forest, and as 
they did not return with the other soldiers, their 

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friends became very apprehensive as to their safety. 
''When General Claiborne arrived in the country, he 
wrote to Bailey, Tate, and Moniac, urging them to 
hunt for these unfortunate men. They were after- 
wards found, starved almost to death, and bereft of 
their senses." When found, Colonel Caller had on 
nothing but his shirt and drawers. After the war, 
the Colonel, with some difficulty, recovered his fine 
horse from the Creeks. But Major Wood was not 
so fortunate. 

Colonel J. F. H. Claiborne, in his "Life of Sam 
Dale," writes : " Colonel Caller was long a conspic- 
uous man in the politics of Mississippi Territory, 
often representing Washington County in the legis- 
lature. No one who knew Caller and Wood inti- 
mately doubted their courage ; but the disaster of 
Burnt Corn brought down on them much scur- 
rility. Major Wood, who was as sensitive as brave, 
had not the fortitude to despise the scorn of the 
world, and sought forgetfulness, as too many men 
often do, in habitual intemperance." 

The battle of Burnt Corn, on the whole, was 
damaging to the prestige of American prowess. For 
many years its participants had to endure the ridi- 
cule of their neighbors and friends; for it was not 
considered creditable to any one to claim that he had 
been a soldier in the Burnt Corn battle. 

It should here be stated that at the time of its 
occurrence many of the citizens of Washington 
County censured Colonel Caller severely for this 
expedition and believed that he acted too hastily in 
the matter. They believed that, while putting them- 
selves on a war footing, it would have been better 

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to have made use of conciliatory measures towards 
the Creeks ; that they thereby might have overruled 
them and perhaps averted hostilities. But this 
attack by Colonel Caller maddened them and con- 
verted numbers of hesitating and neutral warriors 
into deadly foes, and the massacre at Fort Mims was 
the result. 


In writing the history of the Burnt Corn expedi- 
tion, the writer has drawn his materials from the 
following sources : Pickett's History of Alabama, 
Meek's Romantic Passages of Southwestern History, 
General Thomas Woodward's Reminiscences of the 
Creek or Muscogee Indians, letters of Judge Toul- 
min and Colonel Carson, addressed to General Clai- 
borne, published in the Alabama Historical Reporter 
of June, 1880, and a letter from Colonel Carson to 
General Claiborne, published in Claiborne's " Life 
of Sam Dale." 

In addition to the above sources must be added 
conversations with the late Rev. Josiah Allen, of 
Jasper County, Mississippi, who, perhaps, was the last 
survivor of Uapt. Sam Dale's company. Mr. Allen 
was not in the Burnt Corn expedition, but was inti- 
mately associated with many of the participants in 
the battle, from whom he derived a number of inci- 
dents and other minor facts, which have been incor- 
porated in this narrative. 

The description of the battle ground, as has been 
stated, is the result of personal observation; 

H. S. H. 

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INTRODUCTORY NOTE.— For the statements in 
this chapter different authorities have been con- 
sulted, as the writer has had access to the Chicago 
City Library, the Illinois State Historical Library, 
the" Newberry Library of Chicago, and the State 
Library of Indiana, all containing a large number of 
valuable historic reference books in regard to the 
American Indians; the last containing a large and 
choice collection of works pertaining to these In- 

Among many others there has been consulted — 
"Tuttle's Border Wars of Two Centuries," 608 
pages, by Charles R. Tuttle, Chicago, 1874. 

In the preface the author say«, " There is not a 
single person interested in the history of the United 
States who has not felt the want of a reliable history 
of the Wars between his country and the Indians." 
Of his own work he says: "It has been compiled 
and written from the most reliable sources, and, it 
is confidently believed, will be found complete, 
authentic, and interesting." He expresses the opin- 
ion that it will be found to be the most accurate 
44 and satisfactory history of the wars with the In- 
dians * * * that has yet been written." 

He gives to the Creek War the last three pages 
and nine lines of his large work, and relies for 
authority largely on Brownell. — I have examined 
the work of Charles De Wolf Brownell, pages 638, 
published 1856, called "The Indian Races of 

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North and South America," and find that he refers 
to Samuel G. Drake, to Henry R. S choolcraft, to 
William V. Moore, James Adair, and to many other 
writers. — Tuttle assigns to Fort Mims from Brown- 
ell one hundred and sixty officers and soldiers, and 
says, " The rest of its occupants, to the number of 
one hundred and fifteen, consisted of old men, 
women, and children." He mentions no other at- 
tacks made by the Indians upon the whites, but says 
something of Jackson's battles. So brief an ac- 
count of the Creek War as Charles R. Tuttle gives, 
however " authentic" it may be, can hardly be con- 
sidered "satisfactory" by any one interested in the 
history of the Southern Indians. 

Samuel G. Drake, the father of Francis S. Drake, 
who gives in two large volumes the results of the 
life long researches of Henry R. Schoolcraft, gives 
two hundred and seventy-five as the number in Fort 
Mims, of which number, he says, one hundred and 
sixty were soldiers, and "the rest old men, women, 
and children." Numbers and statements corres- 
ponding so exactly as these do, show a common 
origin for the statements of both Tuttle and Drake 

F. S. Drake, in his large work, "Indian tribes of 
the United States," follows Pickett in regard to the 
number in the fort and the number of Indians making 
the attack, and says, on what was then good author- 
ity, "Not a white woman or child escaped." 

Trumbull in his "History of the Indian Wars," 
pages 320, published in 1846, gives an account of the 
massacre at Fort Mims as detailed in a letter written 
by Judge Toulmin and dated September 7, 1813. 

This letter puts the number of Indians making 
the attack as not over four hundred, and states that 
in the fort were about twenty-four families, nearly 
all of whom perished, not more than twenty-five or 
thirty white men and "half-breeds" escaping. The 
letter also says there were in the fort "about one 
hundred negroes." Judge Harry Toulmin, a good 

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scholar, well versed in law, a native of England, for 
eight years Secretary of Statepf Kentucky, would 
be for many things good authority; but the date of 
this letter is against it as being reliable information 
in regard to Fort Minis. The letter is dated Sep- 
tember 7th, and it was not until September 9th that 
troops from Mount Vernon- reached Fort Mims to 
see what could be done for burying the dead. So 
early as the seventh the rumors that reached Judge 
Toulmin could not be expected to be accurate in 
regard to the Indians or the whites. 

Samuel G. Drake, who has just been mentioned, 
goes to the other extreme,and assigns to Weatherford 
about fifteen hundred Indian warriors when 
attacking Fort Mims. 

I take the liberty in this introductory note to 
refer to one of our school histories, Anderson's 
"Grammar School History of the United States," a 
work said to be "used in more than three hundred 
of the most important cities and towns in the United 
States," and commended as being "unusually accur- 
ate." In this children are taught in the recapitula- 
tion, page 181, "Creek War began by the Massacre 
at Fort Mims, Aug. 30th, 1813." "1814 the battle 
of Tohopeka ended the Creek War, March 27th." 

The full text is, pages 120, 121, "In the spring 
of 1813, several months before the successes ofrerry 
and Harrisson, the Southern Indians were visited by 
Tecumseh, and induced to take up arms against the 
whites. On the last day of August, fifteen hundred 
of their warriors surprised Fort Mims,and massacred 
nearly three hundred men, women, and children. 

"This unprovoked attack" — all of our histories 
seem to omit any mention of Burnt Corn— "aroused 
the whole South, and volunteers assembled to avenge 
the deed of horror. Several battles were fought in 
quick succession, in every one of which the Indians 
were defeated. At length a thousand warriors made 
a final stand at Tohopeka, where they were defeated 

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by General Jackson, on the 27th of March, 1814, 
with great slaughter. Their subjugation was 

Chateaubriand of France, speaking of ancient 
writers once said, 'The historians are greater liars 
than the poets." Ibe old historians Tiad not the 
facilities we now have for securing a large degree of 
accuracy in their narrations; but surely some of the 
moderns do not avail themselves of the resources at 

From 8. Putnam Waldo's " Memoirs of Andrew 
Jackson," published in 1818, the following extracts 
are taken : Speaking of Fort Mims, " Major Beasly 
commanded, and with a band that reminds the 
reader of the 'Spartan band of Leonidas at Ther- 
mopyte,. maintained a conflict with more than four 
times their force until they slew more than their own 

Waldo himself quotes this : " Under the double 
influence of British gold and furious fanaticism, the 
savages fought in a manner scarcely to be credited." 
He calls the Creeks " The most warlike tribe of bar- 
barians in the universe," and calls the Creek war 
** The most sanguinary war which savage vengeance, 
aided by British gold and Spanish perfidy, ever pros- 

He too, it seems, believes in the gold. We are 
left to conjecture whether Tecumseh brought that 
gold down from Detroit on his thirty horses, or 
whether it reached the Creeks through the Spanish 
traders at Pensacola, or whether the gold really 
went no further than to Tecumseh, as Claiborne 
asserts that when in 1811 Tecumseh visited the 
Southern tribes, " with a party of thirty warriors," 
he was " in British pay." 

In Philo A. Goodwin's " Life of Jackson," 1832, 
are the following statements, and where he could 
have found authority for any one of them is singu- 
lar. The first is, after mentioning the battle of 

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Tippecanoe, " Tecumseh fled to the Southern tribes 
upon the Alabama, early in 1812, to inspire the 
savages there to act in concert with their red 
brethren of the north." 

The second is, " A complete concert was estab- 
lished between all the Southern tribes, and a general 
concert between them and the Northern ones." 

And the third is, which has a bearing upon this 
and succeeding chapters, after saying that at Fort 
Mirns about two hundred and sixty persons perished, 
" The panic caused at the other outposts or stations 
by this dreadful catastrophe can scarcely be 
described ; the wretched inhabitants, fearing a simi- 
lar* fate, abandoned their retreats of fancied security 
in the middle of the night, and effected their escape 
to Mobile after the endurance of every species of 
suffering." Surely, if we can get no more truth than 
this from our border war historians, we may as well 
leave them and turn to the poets. 

As in regard to Tecumsen's visit to the Creeks, so 
in regard to the massacre at Fort Mims, the original 
authorities are few, very few ; and the main reliance 
for the statements of this chapter will be upon Ala- 
bama's own historian, Albert J. Pickett, including 
additional evidence which we have, individually, 
been able to gather. T. H. B. 

After the battle of Burnt Corn, which did not ter- 
minate as the whites had hoped, as the settlers of 
this exposed and isolated Biver Region gathered more 
fully into their various stockades, the inhabitants on 
the Tensaw and along Little Biver, many of them 
being of mixed and of Creek blood, yet dreading the 
fury of the war party of the Creek nation, gathered 
around the residence of a settler named Samuel 
Mims, an old Indian countryman, one mile from the 

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Alabama River, two miles below the Cut Off, and 
one-fourth of a mile from the Tensaw boat-yard. 
Here, where before the Burnt Corn action many 
families had gathered, they had erected a stockade, 
nearly square, enclosing about an acre, built very 
much as was Fort Madison and the other stockades, 
entered through a large eastern and a western gate. 
In this enclosure were several buildings, the home of 
the Mims family being near the center. One of 
these buildings was known as Patrick's loom-house, 
and having some extra picketing attached to this, 
the inmates called it the bastion. 

According to Pickett's researches, and no author- 
ity has been found of sufficient weight to set aside 
his statements, there were in this stockade in 
August, 1818, five hundred and fifty-three human 
beings, white settlers, some Spaniards, colored 
people, and those of mixed Indian blood. Two 
hundred and sixty-five of this number were soldiers, 
and, in round numbers, one hundred were children. 
Of the soldiers there were seventy home militia, all 
probably being what General Woodward calls "half- 
breeds," under the command of Captain Dixon 
Bailey; sixteen men had been sent from Mount 
Vernon or Fort Stoddart under Lieutenant Osborn to 
help defend this exposed stockade ; and soon after 
one hundred and seventy-five Mississippi volunteers 
were sent under the command of Major Daniel 
Beasley. He of course took the command of the 
fort. General Claiborne, commanding at Mount 
Vernon, came himself to Fort Mims August 7th to 
inspect this stockade. He instructed Major Beasley 
"to strengthen the pickets and to build one or two 

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additional blockhouses. " To this Lieutenant William 
K. Chambliss testified, and added, "And I further 
certify that Major Beasley received a letter, one or 
two days before the attack on Fort Mims, from Gen- 
eral Claiborne (who was on his way to FortEasley) 
advising him of the reported movements of the 

And who were these called in military language, 
"the enemy"? After that unfortunate action at 
Burnt Corn, members of that war party returned to\ » 
Pensacola, obtained more military supplies, and'» 
came again, more cautiously, back to their own 
towns and hunting grounds, A large war force was 
soon collected from the towns, says Pickett, of 
Hoithlewale, Fooshatche, Cooloome, Ecunhutke, 
Souvanoga, Mooklousa, Alabama, Oakchoicoochie, 
Pockuschatche, Ochebofa, Puckuntallahasse, Wew- 
ococ, and Wocescoie, and went south from the Talla- 
poosa Kiver towards the Tensaw settlement.* The 
leaders of this band of warriors gathered from so 
many hostile towns were, a Tuskegee chief, Far Off 
Warrior, Peter McQueen, High Head Jim, and with 
them as an influential leader but not a real chief, 
the noted William Weatherford, of truly mixed 
blood, the renowned Bed Eagle. He was acquainted 
with the Tensaw settlers, had met with the young 
people in their dancing parties, but had for some 
reasons joined the war party, and was now one of 
the recognized leaders of the savage warriors. The 

♦"Five of these towns were on the Tallapoosa, six on the Coosa, 
and two on the Alabama. The last six of these towns were sit- 
uated on the Coosa, Sawanogee — Pickett's Souvanoga — was a 
Shawnee town. Alabama and Muklosa, on the Alabama River, 
were Alibamo- towns. The remainder were genuine Muscogee 

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Indian army halted for a time at a plantation not 
many miles from Fort Mims. Some negroes were 
taken prisoners and permitted by Weatherford to 
escape; he had learned that a military officer was in 
command at the fort; and if the testimony of 
Weatherford's friends is reliable, he expected the 
fort to be prepared to resist the assault. 

There was truly an officer of the Mississippi 
Volunteers in command, as has been stated, Major 
Daniel Beasley, but that he was unfit to command at 
such a post in time of danger is evident. Claiborne - 
himself says of him that " although often warned he 
turned a deaf ear to all idea of danger." Judge 
Meek speaks of him as " unflinchingly brave," but 
also as being " vain, rash, inexperienced, and over- 
confident." He adds: "In vain did several of the 
most experienced and cautious of the backwoodsmen 
give warning of the impending danger ; in vain even 
did a hostile warrior the very evening before, apprise 
some of his relatives in the fortress of the intended 
attack ; in vain did two negroes declare that they 
had seen twenty warriors painted for battle, in the 
vicinity of the fort. Major Beasley'would listen to 
no remonstrance, but steadily refused to keep the 
gate of the fortress shut, and permitted the inmates 
to wander unrestrained along the banks of the lake." 
It might be added, in vain did his superior officer^ 
General Claiborne, send to him urging him to be pre- 
pared for an attack from the Indians. Of the two 
negroes mentioned above by Meek, Pickett says that 
one of them " belonging to John Randon, was tied 
up and severely flogged for alarming the garrison 
with what Major Beasley deemed a sheer fabrioa- 

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tion. Fletcher, the owner of the other, refused to 
permit him to be punished, because he believed his 
statement, which so incensed the major that he 
ordered Fletcher with his large family to depart from 
the fort by ten o'clock the next day." 

It is to be hoped that a man so unfit to command 
will seldom have five hundred lives committed to 
his care. The Indians were now near. They re- 
membered the dinner hour at Burnt Corn, and they 
arranged to make the attack at noon, August 30, 
1813. On that day "the sun rose, beautiful and with 
a dewy coolness, over the forests of needle-leaved 
pines that extended off to the east, and concealed 
beneath their high and shafted arcades the grimly 
painted and fast approaching warriors of Weather- 
ford and McQueen. In the fort all was confidence 
and hilarity." 

In the words of Pickett, "The inmates had be- 
come inactive, free from alarm, and abandoned 
themselves to fun and frolic." 

It is well attested that the day before, which was 
Sunday, a fresh supply of whiskey had been brought 
into the stockade, of which more than one had made 
too free use. The noon hour of Monday was draw- 
ing near. Meek says that "Major JBeasley with a 
party of his officers was engaged in a game of 
cards." Pickett says that "the soldiers were repos- 
ng on the ground, some of the settlers were playing 
cards, the girls and young men were dancing, while 
a hundred thoughtless and happy children sported 
from door to door and from tent to tent." Major 
Beasley had been instructed by General Claiborne 
to send out scouts frequently, to be prepared for an 

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attack, and this was his preparation, with the fort 
gate open and, as was afterwards disco vered,blocked 
open with sand. On the 29th of August, the very 
day before, an express message arrived from Gen. 
eral Claiborne, sent out from Fort Madison, warning 
Major Beasley of danger and "enjoining the utmost 
circumspection." And on the morning of August 
30th Major Beasley wrote to General Claiborne. 
Mims Block House, August 30, 1813. 
Sib: I send enclosed the morning reports of my 
command. " I have improved the fort at this place 
and made it much stronger than when you were 
here. * * * There was a false alarm 
yesterday." He mentions the report brought in by 
the two negroes and says, "But the alarm has proved 
to be false." 

False, it is evident, simply because he chose to 
call it so. Two hours later, as the bearer of the 
letter had not left the stockade, Major Beasley wrote 
a second note assuring General Claiborne of his 
"ability to maintain the fort against any number of 
Indians." And now a solitary horseman from the 
north is rapidly approaching. General Woodward 
says that Jim Cornells left Fort Mims in the morn- 
ing of August 30th and rode some miles up the 
river. Before noon he returned on a fast trot, 
baited at the fort gate, and shouted to Major Beasley 
that the Indians were coming. He replied to Corn- 
ells that he bad seen only a gang of red cattle, to 
which Cornells answered that the gang of red cat- 
tle would give him a terrible kick before night. 
Woodward does not hesitate to say, in plain words, 
on the authority of eye witnesses whom he knew 
well, "Major Beasley was drunk." Others at the 

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gate then took sides with Major Beasley, and said 
Cornells, a man whose testimony that commanding 
officer was in duty and honor bound to respect, was 
no better than Fletcher's njgro who was then tied 
up to be whipped. Major Beasley now ordered 
Cornells to be arrested, but the intrepid scout 
wheeled his horse and started for Fort Pierce, tell- 
ing the people at the gate once more that the Indians 
were coming, and that if they would prepare to de- 
fend themselves he would stay and help fight, but 
if not, then he would take care of himsslf . Receiv- 
ing no encouragement from them he rode rapidly 
away. It would seem that on that day more than 
one man was no better than drunk. 

Surely no where else in American history can an 
example be found where a fort was so poorly guarded, 
where a massacre was so needless. 

" The hour of twelve o'clock arrived, and the 
drum beat the officers and soldiers of the garrison to 
dinner." The Indians had waited for this signal, 
and now "one thousand Creek warriors" rushed for 
the open gate, reached it, struck down Major Beasley 
(who at last, when it was too late, believed there 
was danger and tried to shut the sand-barred gate), 
and commenced at once their work of carnage. One 
of their leaders was William Weatherford, already 
mentioned, in whose veins Scotch, French, and 
Indian blood was mingled, and who rushed in on foot 
at the head of his Indians, for the time apparently 
as savage as they. A prophet decked with his 
feathers was among the leaders, who was imme. 
diately killed by Captain Dixon Bailey. 

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The carnage that followed was dreadful. Among 
the Mississippi volunteers that came to defend Fort 
Mims were two captains and their companies — 
Captain Middleton and Captain Jack. These, with 
most of their men, must have fallen in the early 
part of the assault.* 

The following sentences are taken from "Clarke 
and Its Surroundings " : 

" The officers bravely endeavored to drive the 
Indians from the gateway, but bravery was now of 
no avail. Officers and soldiers fell in vain attempts 
to counteract the results of a want of vigilance in the 
past. Help or hope there was none, and soldiers, 
women, children, Spaniards, friendly Indians, fell 
together in heaps of mangled bodies, the dying and 
the dead, scalped, mutilated, bloody, to be consumed 
ere long by fire, or to become food for hungry dogs 
and buzzards. In vain the young men, no longer 
dancing with the girls, and also the aged men and 
boys, fought the unrelenting savages with desperate 
fury. In vain did the brave Captain Bailey, left as 
the commanding officer, and who lived through all 
the carnage, animate the inmates to a resolute resist- 
ance. In vain did the women load the guns, bring 
water from the well, and do all that it was possible 
to do in sustaining the courage of the men." 

To contend with foes within is not like contend- 
ing with foes without, whether in physical or in 
moral conflicts. The Spaniards referred to above 

* Rev. J. G. Jones, of Hazelhurst, Mississippi, wrote, June 
16, 1886, " 1 knew the brave and noble Captain Jack. He was 
quite a young man. He had just taken an additional course in 
our county school to complete his primary • education when the 
news of the Creek uprising, reached us." 

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were some deserters, so called, from Pensacola, who, j I 
while kneeling around the well and making the sign ' 
of the cross, fell beneath the Indian tomahawks. 

The first destructive onset, resisted as bravely 
and as well as the dreadful circumstances permitted, 
lasted not more than two or three hours. "Weather- 
ford himself did not long remain, for in the middle 
of that afternoon, twelve miles from Fort Mims, he 
, met his half brother, David Tate, told him of the 
massacre, and expressed his regret. On very good 
authority it is asserted that before he left the stock 
ade he implored the savage warriors to spare the 
women and children, but those now infuriated Creeks 
refused to listen, and even threatened his own life if 
he tried to save any of the whites. That after the 
lull in the first storm of battle, when many inmates 
of the fort were living, there was a renewal of the 
work of destruction, is certain, but the authorities 
here are conflicting and how it was brought 
about is quite uncertain. Charles Weatherford ex- 
plicitly denies that his grandfather, the Red 
Eagle, led the Indians to a second attack.* 

Some assert that a new band of Indians arrived 
to complete the work of slaughter, and others that a 
reserve force of six hundred now came in from their 
concealment; but the probability is that after some 
slight rest, or respite for the doomed inmates of the 
fort, the thoroughly infuriated savages needed no 
leader to urge them to complete their bloody work. 
They succeeded by means of arrows in setting fire to 
the buildings within the inner enclosure. This is 

*8ee the letter of Charles Weatherford, Junior, at the close of 
tills chapter. 

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attributed by Woodward to tbe Shawnee Seekaboo, 
who was with them, and some of the McGillivray 
// Negroes. Now, again, amid the fearful shrieks of 
women and children put to death in ways as horrible 
as Indian barbarity could invent, the work of death 
was resumed. 

Those left alive now crowded into what they called 
the bastion. Says Pickett, " Soon it was full to over- 
flowing. The weak, wounded, and feeble were 
pressed to death and trodden under foot. The spot 
presented the appearance of one immense mass of 
human beings, herded together too close to defend 
themselves, and, like beeves in the slaughter pen of 
the butcher, a prey to those who fired upon them. 
The large building had fallen, carrying with it the 
scorched bodies of the Baileys and others on the 
roof and the large number of women and children 
in the lower story." 

Soon the flames swept over all, and while a few 
escaped, those, if there were any, not yet butchered 
by the Indians, perished in these flames. 

As near as can be known the Indians retired 
from the burning mass of buildings and human 
bodies at about five o'clock, and that sad tragedy, 
known as the massacre at Fort Mims, was ended. 
The commanding officer had by his conduct invited 
it upon himself and upon the five hundred whose 
lives he was there to protect, and swiftly and 
terribly as a thunderbolt of war, the destruction at 
noon-day came upon them. 

The bullets, the knives, the war clubs, the toma- 
hawks, the flames, did their work, and more than 

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half a thousand human beings in a few hours 

Although Pickett gives very definitely the num- 
ber in the fort, and assigns to Weatherford one 
thousand warriors, yet in the nature of the case there 
must remain some uncertainty in regard to these 
numbers. Ramsay, the next best authority, gives 
six hundred as the number of the Indians, but he 
agrees very well with Pickett in regard to the 
number in the stockade. And from the territory 
represented by this fort, the Tensaw and Little 
River settlements, the number given cannot be too 

Of the five hundred and fifty in the fort how 
many escaped is not quite certain ; but at these and 
the authorities in regard to them- we may now 
briefly look. Of the Mims family there escaped 
Mrs. Mims, and three sons, David Mims, Alexander 
Mims, and Joseph Mims.* There also escaped death 
by delivering themsevles up as prisoners, Mrs. Susan 
Hatterway, Elizabeth Randon a white child, and a 
colored girl named Lizzie.f Dr. Clanton of Leaf, 
Greene County, Mississippi, states that one of the 
inmates of Fort Mims, Samuel Smith, of mixed 
blood, informed him that fourteen at one time, near 
the close of the massacre, Smith, Steadham, Stubble- 
field, and eleven other men, having cut some of the 
pickets with an axe, broke through the enclosure 
and the Indians, reached the swamp, and escaped, 
Smith saving the life of Stubblefield in their flight 

•See the letter of Mrs. Peebles who was Jane £. Mims. 
fSee Weatherf ord's Letter. 


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by shooting an Indian who was just in the act of 
striking Stubblefield to the earth.* 

A colored woman, named Hester, manifested not. 
' a little resolution, for, although wounded, she made 
her way through the Indian warriors, reached a 
canoe in Lake Tensaw, paddled to Fort Stoddard 
that night, and gave to General Claiborne the first 
information concerning the massacre. 

In the escape of Mrs. Vicey McGirth, a half 
Creek woman, wife of Zachariah McGirth, a gleam 
of human gratitude lights up the darkness of Indian 
barbarity. She was in Fort Mims with her eight 
children, while her husband happened to be on that 
day without. 

The incident is so beautiful as a relief to the 
bloody deeds of that day that we may patiently 
listen to Pickett's full narrative: " Many years be- 
fore the dreadful massacre at Fort Mims, a little, 
hungry Indian boy, named Sanota — an orphan, 
homeless and friendless — stopped at the house of 

*Dr. A, B. Clanton gave in 1890 for publication in a Mis- 
sissippi journal, recollections of what in boyhood he heard from 
the survivors of that massacre, especially naming as an informant 
Samuel Smith. He gives these, to use his own words, "as truth- 
fully and graphically as my broken and somewhat confused 
recollection from so long a period will permit." He freely 
admits that much which he heard "has faded from his memory 
through the long lapse of time." Dr. Clanton relates on the 
authority of Smith, that "a large and powerful negro man" 
wielding an axe. "killed more Indians than any other man in the 
fort," but he fell at last, covered with wounds "from knife, and 
club, and tomahawk." Slave as he was, he fought bravely in 
behalf of the whites, and deserves to be remembered along with 
Captain Dixon Bailey and his brothers James and Daniel Bailey, 
and the other brave defenders of the women and children, 
although that bravery availed so little in saving life at the last. 

Dr. Clanton gives not quite an hour as the length of the 
interval between the two attacks, and he says that during that 
time those in the fort drank too much whiskey. At this time it 
seems that some escaped who are not mentioned in Pickett's list. 

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Vicey McGirth. She fed and clothed him, arid he 
grew to athletic manhood. He joined the war 
party, and formed on0 of the expedition against 
Fort Mims. Like the other warriors he was engaged 
in hewing and hacking the females to pieces,towards 
the close of the massacre, when he suddenly came 
upon Mrs. McGirth and his foster sisters. Pity and 
gratitude taking possession of his heart, he thrust 
them in a corner, and nobly made his broad savage 
breast a rampart for their protection. The next 
day he carried them off upon horses, toward the 
Coosa, under pretence that he had preserved them 
from death for his slaves. Arriving at his home, he 
sheltered them, hunted for them, and protected them 
from Indian brutality. One day he told his adopted 
mother that he was going to fight Jackson, at the 
Horse-Shoe, and that if he should be killed, she must 
endeavor to reach her friends below." He went 
and fought and fell, and she and her daughters did 
finally reach her husband at Mobile. 

General Woodward and also Dr. Clanton attribute 
the protection of McGirth's family to the noted 
chief Jim Boy or High Head Jim, one of the leaders 
of the war party. That he was a friend to McGirth 
is evident from Woodward's statement that when 
the Indians were at Pensacola in the summer, and 
there met Zachariah McGirth, and some of the war 
party proposed to kill him, High Head Jim threat- 
ened with death any Indian who harmed McGirth.* 

*How to reconcile these accounts I do not see unless the lit- 
tle Indian boy known as Sanota had become the chief Jim Boy, 
which does not seem to be possible. I accept Pickett's as the trm- 
account, because he received the facts from McGirth himself i. 
1834.—T. H. B. 

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General Woodward states that Jim Boy tried to 
save the lives of others at Fort Mims, and thus in- 
curred the ill-will of the enraged warriors. 

pickett's list of those who escaped from fobt 


Mrs. McGirth and her daughters, a friendly In- 
dian named Socca, Hester, a negro woman, Samuel 
Smith of mixed blood, Lieutenant W. R. Chambliss, 
Dr. Thomas G. Holmes, Lieutenant Peter Eandon, 
Sergeant Matthews, Josiah Fletcher, Martin Rigdon, 
Joseph Perry, Jesse Steadham, Edward Steadham, 

John Hoven, Jones, and Maurice. This last 

name can now be corrected from a newspaper record. 
A, J. Morris, died at Heflin, Alabama, April 5, 
1891, nearly onehundred years of age. Heis supposed 
to have been the last survivor of the inmates of Fort 
Mims. Five are mentioned in the "Birmingham Age 
Herald" by a special correspondent, L. E. M., as 
escaping through the pickets together. These were 
Martin Rigdon, Samuel Smith, Joseph Perry, Jesse 
Steadham, and A. J. Morris. And all these, it is 
said, went to Mount Vernon after several days' wan- 
dering. These names are all in Pickett's list. To 
these may be added, according to Dr. Clan ton, Stub- 
blefield, Cook, Montjoy, Aaron Bradley, and Elem- 
uel Bradford. Dr. Clanton's authority was Samuel 
Smith. Pickett's informers were Dr. T. G. Holmes, 
Jesse Steadham, and Peter Randon. On the authority 
of Judge Meek may be added the name of James 
Bealle, and on the authority of the Rev. J. G. Jones 
of Hazelhurst, Mississippi, the name of private 
Daniels, of Jefferson county, Mississippi. There 
have already been given on good authority, the 

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additional names of Mrs. Minis, David Mims, Alex- 
ander Minis, and Joseph Mims ; also of Mrs. Susan 
Hatterway , Elizabeth Randon, and Lizzie, the colored 
girl. So that, in addition to the fifteen of Pickett? 
without counting the McGirth family of seven or 
eight, we have the names of fourteen others, making 
in all some thirty-six survivors out of five hundred 
and fifty-three. There were probably a few others 
whose names are yet unknown, and some of the hun- 
dred colored people were probably taken away by 
the Indians, of whom there would remain no trace.* 
About fifty seems to be a fair estimate of those who 
survived the horrors of that day and night. 

The escape of Lieutenant Chambliss, as given by 
Pickett, was remarkable. After passing out from 
the stockade and tho Indians around it, he at length 
took refuge in a log heap. To this in the night some 
Indians set fire, and when it seemed that he could no 
longer endure the smoke and the heat something 
called the Indians away and he escaped. 

Captain Dixon Bailey, although severely wounded^ 
left the fort with others, taking with him his little 
child, but he never reached a human habitation. 
Judge Meek states, that some time after, there was 
found in the swamp a gun having the name, Dixon 
Bailey, cut in the stock, and by it were the bones of 
a man and a child. Pickett states that a negro 

* Jack Cato, a colored resident of Clarke county, in 1880, says 
he was a drummer in the war of 1812, was a drummer at New 
Orleans in 1815. He claims to have been at Fort Mims and 
gives a graphic account of scenes there. According to his state- 
ments he was in 1880 between eighty and ninety years of age. He 
was then living on a small farm and appeared to be a very old 

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carried a child of Dixon Bailey's in the effort to 
escape, and that, becoming bewildered, in his excite- 
ment he ran back among the Indians, who imme- 
diately killed the trembling boy as he was calling on 
his father to save bis life. 

We oome now to the last scene connected with 
this dreadful tragedy, the burial of the dead. 

On the 9th of September, as has been incidentally 
mentioned, a company of men under the command of 
Major Kennedy, detailed for the purpose, reached the 
place of the massacre to do what might be possible in 
burying the dead. They found, as the result of Indian 
barbarity, of the fire, of famishing dogs, of buzzards, 
and of other wild animals, what had some ten days 
before been human forms, in a condition too ho- 
rible to be described with any minuteness. It will 
certainly be the dictate of sympathy for the feelings 
of the readers to spare them a review of the details 
of what these men there found as showing the Indian 
treatment of the women and children. Surely not 
often, it is to be hoped never, not even in the Sepoy 
rebellion in India, have human eyes looked upon a 
more revolting spectacle. Some six or seven hun- 
dred human bodies — what there was left of them, 
whites, Indians, "half-breeds," negroes, nearly all 
in a condition that no friend could recognize or 
identify, were on and around that once palisaded 
acre. Trenches were dug, and so long as the men 
could endure the horrible task, the mutilated, 
charred, decomposing remains of human forms were 
piled within the trenches and covered with earth. 
No very thorough burial of all that had a few days 
before been a part of living humanity could be corn- 

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pleted, for the task was too much for human endu- 
rance, but doing the best they could, the company 
of resolute men left that dark and gloomy spot to 
be finally cleansed by the sunshine and the rain of 

The Indians no doubt carried off the body of 
their noted chief Far Off Warrior, Hopiee Tusten- 
nggee, who fell at Fort Mims, and also the bodies 
of their fallen prophets, probably of many others; 
but they left bodies enough there of their dead, 
grim warriors, to add no little to the task of the 
white men in committing to the earth the bodies 
of the slain.* 

Among the five hundred dead of the inmates of 
that stockade, there were nearly every white woman,' 
all but one of the hundred white children that were 
playing in the morning, and all those dancing girls. 

The whites had good cause to remember the 
battle of Burnt Corn, while most of the Indian war- 
riors lived not long to remember Fort Mims. Ex- 
terminating wars — perhaps sometimes needful — are 
ever to be dreaded ; and surely no one can review 
this Creek War and not feel that the butchery of 
five hundred people, commencing at midday of 

*One white man, Zachariah McGirtb, had gone to Fort Mims 
on the night of August 30th. He searched there long, but of 
course in vain, among those mangled bodies in the smoking ruins 
of the fort, to find some remains of his wife and daughters. He 
gave them up as having been surely among the many, even then, 
unrecognizable dead; and when months afterwards, on the wharf 
at Mobile, where from their desolate home on the Alabama they 
had been conveyed by an American officer, they were finally 
presented to McGirth, as though they had returned to life 
from the dead, it is said that a "torrent of joy and profound 
astonishment overwhelmed him. He trembled like a leaf and 
was for some minu'e* speechless." — Pickett. 

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August 30, 1813, by infuriated savages, was perfectly 
needless. By needless, here, is meant that the corn- 
commanding officer could, and therefore should, 
have prevented it. 

Upon Fort Pierce, near by as it was, the Indians 
made no attack, and the few inmates retired un- 
harmed. They reached the Alabama River, but 
could not cross until Peggy Bailey, a sister of Cap- 
tain Dixon Bailey, swam to the west side and pro- 
cured a flat boat, on which they ferried themselves 
over and safely reached the arsenal at Mount Ver- 
non. In acknowledgment of that daring act, swim- 
ming the Alabama in August, when alligators were 
quite abundant, the United States Government 
bestowed a tract of land upon this heroine.* 


1. Captain Dixon Bailey was of mixed, or part 
Indian blood. He was a native of Auttose, and was 
educated in Philadelphia. His wife, say some, was 
a white woman from South Carolina.f . He is rep- 
resented as a man "of fine personal appearance, 
unimpeachable integrity, and a strong mind. His 
courage and energy were not surpassed by those of 

*Says Judge Anstill, of Mobile: " I have often heard my 
father speak of ' Peggy Bailey' and her swimming the river. He 
knew her well. Her grant of land comprised what is now called 
Choctaw Bluff on the Alabama River, opposite Carney's Bluff 
on the 'Bigbee. For a long time it was known as Peggy Bailey's 
Bluff."-— Extract from a letter written March 5, 1894. 

f But other, and quite as reliable authority, gives as the wife 
of Dixon Bailey a daughter of Mrs. Sophia Durant, thus making 

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FORT MI MS. 165 

any other man." It seems that he had at least two 
brothers, James and Daniel, and two sisters, Peggy 
and Polly. Peggy Bailey has been mentioned as 
aiding those who retreated from Fort Pierce. She 
is represented as having been a stout, heavy built 
woman, who could ride a horse and shoot equal to a 
man. Polly Bailey became the wife of Sizemore, 
who kept a ferry at what is now called Gainestown. 
She was an expert in swimming, and sometimes 
acted as ferryman. Sizemore lived on the west side 
of the Alabama and did not take refuge in Fort 
Mims. Peggy Bailey lived with her mother, an Indian 
woman, on the east side. Mrs. Sizemore lived to a 
great age in Baldwin county, and died in 1862. 
J&er daughter, who became Mrs. Podgett, born on 
the Alabama River, was living in 1890, then one 
hundred years old. 

2. It is difficult to reach certainty in regard to the 
various white men who married Indian women and 
became heads of families noted in the Greek history. 
It seems, that some time in the eighteenth century, 
Joseph Cornells, a white man, married an Indian 
woman, but her name has not been found. On the 
authority of Brewer, the Cornells family is placed 
among those claiming descent from the noted Sehoy. 
Three sons of this Joseph are named, George, Alex- 
ander, and James, the latter having been usually 
called Jim Cornells. And the name is often found 
written Curnells, as it was probably thus pro- 
nounced ; but Colonel Hawkins and Charles Weath- 
erford write Cornells. Besides these sons, Joseph 
Cornells had some daughters, one of them, named 

a connection with the McGillivray family. These families seem 
all to be able to trace a line back, by various marriages, to the 
Princess Sehoy : McGillivray, Tate or Tait, Cornells, Bailey, 
Moniac or McNae, Weatherford, Durant, Tunstall, all wealthy 
and influential; in whose veins was variously mingled Indian, 
French, British, and American blood. Other families of mixed 
blood, those of Peter McQueen, of Smith, of the Fishers, and of 
McGirth, more or less noted all, do not seem to go back to the 
Princess Sehoy. 

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Anna, married a son of Big Warrior; one of them, 
Pickett says, was one of the wives of General Mc- 
Gillivray; and one of them was named Lucy. Alex- 
ander Cornells, the interpreter, is called by Brewer, 
Weatherford's brother-in-law. He is recognized as 
an Indian chief as well as an interpreter, and his 
son, known by his Indian name of Opothele Yoholo, 
became "a distinguished chief," removed with his 
people to the Indian Territory, has always been a 
friend of the whites, and in the war of 1861 he 
declared himself on the side of the United States. 
James, known in this history as Jim Cornells, some 
years after the Creek war, died at the home of his 
sister, Mrs. Oliver, near the present town of Clai- 



Published in Alabama Historical Reporter, 1884. 

Nehemiah Page was a hostler in the garrison at 
Fort Mims. He was a somewhat dissipated young 
man, and the night before the attack on the fort was 
passed by him in a drunken frolic. The next morn- 
ing he went outside of the pickets into a stable, sit- 
uated some eighty yards southeasterly of the eastern 
gate, and threw himself down on some fodder in the 
stable loft to sleep off the effects of his carousal. 
About midday he was awakened out of a deep sleep 
by the tramp of a body of men in rapid motion. 
Looking out through a crack, he saw the Indians in 
hundreds rushing past him towards the fort. Page 
knew that the place was doomed. For a few 
moments he was in mortal terror lest some of the 
Indians might enter the stable. As soon as their 
backs were fairly turned upon him, he sprang out 
of the stable and fled for dear life southwesterly, 

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towards the Alabama River. A little dog, which was 
following the Indians, saw the white man, and 
instantly leaving its red owners, ran after him. It 
seems that none of the Indians pursued Page, doubt- 
less thinking the fort before them a greater prize 
tljan a solitary fugitive. Still fear lent redoubled 
speed to Pace's limbs, and he at last reached the 
river, with the dog close at his heels. He leaped 
into the river, and the little dog, whose actions were 
entirely friendly, plunged in after him. In swim- 
ming across the river, the dog, most of the time, kept 
close in his wake. But sometimes it would crawl 
upon his shoulders, and once or twice it even got 
upon his head. Page stated that several times it 
was with the greatest difficulty that he could keep 
himself from being drowned by the little animal's 
thus crawling upon him. During all this time he 
heard the terrible firing going on at the fort. At 
last, both the man and the dog reached the other 
shore, and for the first time Page felt safe. Fol- 
lowed by the dog, he then made his way to the white 
settlements. Page conceived a strong affection for 
the little Indian dog, which had so strangely fol- 
lowed him from Fort Mims. He would never part 
with it, but kept it as long as it lived. 

Page was one of the first settlers of Neshoba 
County, Mississippi. About 1850 he emigrated to 
Texas, where he soon afterwards died. The above 
incident in- his life was related to the writer by Mr. 
James W. Welch, of Neshoba County, who "often 
heard it from Page's own lips. Page was considered 
a truthful man by all who knew him. 

4. The last Sabbath at Fort Mims, from the ac- 
counts given by the survivors, must have been any 
thing but a true Sabbath day for the crowded in- 
mates of that stockade. They were not of a class 

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accustomed to religious observances. In 1803 
Lorenzo Dow had passed through there like a bright 
meteor, and had preached at the Tensaw Boat Yards. 
It is doubtful whether, in the ten years that followed, 
any effort had been made to evangelize the Tensaw 
people. They had in their stockade no camp- 
meeting as did the inmates of Fort Easley. Pickett 
puts it mildly when he says, abandoned to " fun and 
frolic." Prayers in that stockade were very few. 

5. One might almost suppose that J. F.H.Claiborne 
thought that bravery, or what he chooses to call 
bravery, would atone for all other neglects, for he 
says, " Major Beasley, with the courage of despair, 
ran to the outer gate to close it, and received half a 
dozen bullets in his breast the moment he reached it." 
Page 324. Again " Major Beasley was brave to des- 
peration." 324. He speaks of him as " the brave 
man who commanded tnere." Page 325. He says, 
" Never did an officer more bravely seek to redeem 
his fatal over confidence. He fell at the gate in the 
blaze of a thousand rifles." 325. And as though 
all this were not enough, he says once more, "The 
courage of Major Beasley amounted to desperation. 
Although often warned, he turned a* deaf ear to all 
idea of danger. At the onset of the enemy, in the 
blaze of three hundred rifles, he rushed to close 
the front gate * * * Here he fell." Page 
336. (These extracts are from Claiborne's "Missis- 
sippi,' 1 a work to which I am indebted for some 
valuable letters and official documents; a work which 
contains very evidently some rhetorical embellish- 

We ought, sometimes, surely to call things by 
their right names. If what all the accounts and re- 
ports show of the conduct of the commanding 
officer at Fort Mimsare the marks of a brave soldier, 
rather would I have to help me defend a log hut 
against Indians, a timid woman, for she would at 
least shut the door and pull the latch string in. 

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I feel almost out of patience with Claiborne's 
persistency when I once more find him saying, 
pages 340 and 341 : " The fall of Fort Mims, the 
butchery of so many women and children, and the 
defenseless condition of the settlements, aroused 
everywhere the sympathies and martial spirit of the 
people." This is well enough, but he goes on: 
" It was not the capture of Fort Mims — a strongly 
garrisoned post — well calculated to alarm the 
country, but the dreadful massacre of the captives 
that roused our people." 

" Strongly garrisoned " truly ! No doubt there 
were men there in sufficient number, and with 
arms and ammunition; but to call Fort Mims 
" strongly garrisoned " seems like a burlesque on 
words. How could the Indians have failed to take 
it ? Weatherf ord had supposed it was garrisoned. 
He had heard that an officer was there with soldiers, 
and there is evidence that he did not expect to 
capture it until he saw its condition on that August 

Claiborne himself says, in another connection, 
when some of the facts he is almost obliged to tell, 
that Major Beasley <; held the Indians in contempt, 
was angry at what he considered false alarms, and as 
a taunt and derision to the timid had the main gate 
thrown open." Page 324. And that main entrance 
was kept open. And yet Claiborne coolly tells us that 
the capture of this stockade, with the circumstances 
existing, which he well knew, was " well calculated 
to alarm the country." " Alarm " indeed! Had all 
the facts been known they would have aroused 
rather the indignation of the country. 

This fearful massacre, one of the bloodiest in our 
land, has been placed as the beginning of the Creek 
War, and its responsibility laid almost entirely upon 
Weatherford, quite long enough. It is time that the 
real responsibility should be placed where it belongs. 
Had Captain Dixon Bailey, one of the true heroes at 

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Fort Mims, been in command of that stockade, there 
is no probability that it would have been captured. 
With a closed gateway, with the men at their posts, 
with sentinels on the watch, it would have been 
" strongly garrisoned." Had there been in the com- 
manding officer true courage, had there been at Fort 
Mims no bravado and less whiskey, its capture and 
massacre would not have been a part of American 
history. And Claiborne virtually acknowledges all 
this, for he says: " Never men fought better; but such 
was the advantage given to the enemy, by neglecting 
the most obvious precautions, all their bravery was 
thrown away." And who gave them that advan- 
tage ? Who " had the main gate thrown open " ? 
Claiborne himself gives testimony. He says once 
more: "Had the gates been kept closed, and the men 
properly posted * * * all experience shows 
that such a force might have kept at bay a thousand 

Let us deal fairly with the well attested facts, 
and not lay all the blame upon Weatherford and the 


" Lower Peach Tree. 
[Wilcox Co., Alabama, June 13, 1890.] 
"Having received your letter and reading its 
contents I will give you all the information I can. 
I was the granddaughter of Samuel Mims that was 
killed at Fort Mims, and my father was Joseph 
Mims, his son. My mother's name was Jane Oniel. 
My age is seventy-one. I had two uncles, David 
and Alexander Mims, that escaped, and Grandma 
Mims, and also my father, Joseph Mims, but they 
are all dead, and I am the only heir in Alabama. 

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" I have a half-brother, Leonard Mims, in Texas. 
I have some nephews and nieces in Texas, but I 
can't tell anything about them. * * * 

"Mrs. Jane E. Peebles." 


" Lower Peach Tree, July 22, 1894. 

" Mr. T. H. Ball — Dear Sir : I received your 
letter several weeks ago, and would have written 
before now, but I have been thinking over Fort 
Mims and the massacre, and as I am old and forget- 
ful, I will try and do the best I can for your history. 
Grandma Mims was a white woman without any 
Indian blood. She was not in the fort at the time 
of the massacre. They all escaped together after 
the battle, and went to Mobile in a flat boat. 

"My grandfather, Samuel Mims, was married 
when he settled Lake Tensaw, 1797. When the 
battle was fought my grandma could hear the 
Indians yell. I am so forgetful, I can't remember, 
as 1 have been told by my father all about it. Be 
sure to send me a book when it is complete. My 
health is not very good, and has not been for a long 
time. "Tour friend, 

"Jane E. Peebles. 

"P. S. — Peggy Bailey escaped from Fort Mime, 
and swam the Alabama Kiver." 

Besides writing to Mrs. Peebles, I sent the fol- 
lowing letter to Mount Pleasant, Alabama : 

"Crown Point, Indiana, October 2, 1890. 
" Mr. Charles Weatherford, Jr. — Dear Sir: I 
am gathering material for an account of the massa- 
cre at Fort Mims in 1813. I wish to do no injustice 
to the memory of thai Weatherford, your grand 
father I suppose, who is said to have led the Indians 
to Fort Mims. I have Pickett's account of the 
attack, and also the writings of others. 

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"Will you have the kindness to give me what 
you may have learned in regard to some particulars. 

" 1. Did Weatherford, along in the middle of 
that fatal afternoon, encourage the Indians to a 
renewed assault? 2. Was he 'mounted upon a 
splendid black charger'? 

3. " Did he take away from the fort, as has been 
said by some, 'an extremely beautiful' and spirited 
maiden of about seventeen or eighteen summers, 
named Lucy, daughter of Joseph Cornells ? Or is 
this story a fiction ? 

4. "Should that name be written Cornells or 

"How many times was Weatherford married? 
Who were his wives ? And when did they die ? 

" I have noticed that Claihorne, Meek, and Pickett 
do not agree exactly in their estimate of William 
Weatherford, the Ked Eagle. I have no prejudice ; 
no partiality. If any facts are in your possession 
that would enable you to answer any of these ques- 
tion you would do me a favor to write on the back 
of these slips. 

"As what I expect io prepare on Fort Mims is 
designed for publication, I should like to make it as 
accurate and reliable as possible. You can prob- 
ably help me to do this. 

"Tour friend, 

"T. H. Ball." 

According to my request the following answers 
were returned. The numbers correspond to the 
numbers of the questions : 

1. "No ! About the middle of the afternoon of 
that memorable day David Tate, Weatherford's half 
brother, met Weatherford twelve miles above Fort 
Mims. Weatherford told him of the massacre and 
expressed great regret. * * * 

2. " No! At the time of the engagement he was 
on foot. * * * 

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3. " No ! I presume that is the embellishment of 
the story. * * * 

4. "Cornells I believe is correct." 

In addition to these answers written on the slips 
and returned to me as requested, the following letter 
was also sent, a letter which I consider of so much 
interest that I give it entire. I have omitted parts 
of the answers given above because they are given so 
fully in the letter : 


" Mt. Pleasant, Ala., 

"Oct. 17th 1890. 

"Mr. T. H. Ball,— Sir: Tour letter of the 2d 
inst. came to hand yesterday. Sir, your subject has 
become stale. The name of Billy Weatherford is 
almost forgotten, superseded by the names of such 
men as Lee, Jackson, and Grant. With the death of 
my father, Charles Weatherford, Sr., who is about 
ninety-five years old, the name of Weatherford will 
become commonplace. My father is the oldest and 
only living child of the notorious, and so called 
bloody handed, Billy Weatherford. And I, sir, am 
the only living child of Charles Weatherford, Sr. 
Now, sir, you know who and what I am. 

"My grandfather, Billy Weatherford, died in 

" I was born in 1834, therefore what I have to 
say will only be hearsay and from many lips, some 
prejudiced and some partial. 

" According to the most authentic information 
Weatherford did not desire the massacre at Fort 
Mims. About the middle of the afternoon of that 
sadly memorable day Weatherford met his half 
brother, David Tate, about twelve miles above Fort 
Mims, and told him of the massacre and spoke of it 
with much regret. He told Tate that he tried to 
prevent it ; but under the excitement his warriors 

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threatened his life if he interfered. Tate did not 
belong to the hostile party. 

u Now as to Weatherford's being mounted at the 
time the engagement began, circumstances prove 
that he was not. I had an aunt who was a refugee 
in Fort Mims. I have often heard her say that she 
saw Billy Weatherford as he came in the gate at 
full run, at the head of his warriors, jump a pile of 
logs almost as high as his head. (Weatherford stood 
six feet two inches). She said, as he sprang over the 
logs he saw Captain Dixon Bailey who was a bitter 
enemy, to whom he shouted, i Dixon Bailey, to-day 
one or both of us must die.'* So I judge by this 
that he was not mounted at the time of the en- 
gagement. But in the evening [afternoon] of that 
day, when he met Tate, Weatherford was mounted 
on the veritable black horse. I believe it is a recog- 
nized fact that all warriors of note ride either a 
milk-white or raven black steed. Now, sir, I being 
a man of peace, and altogether unlike my grand sire, 
ride an old sorrel mare.f 

u The aunt of whom I have spoken as, being a 
refugee in Fort Mims at the time of the massacre 
was Mrs. Susan Hatter way (nee Stiggins) who hated 
Billy Weatherford with a thorough hatred. My 
aunt's husband was killed early in the fight. She 
had no children. And when she saw that the fort 
would be reduced to ashes she took hold of a little 
white girl, Elizabeth Kandon, with one hand, and a 
negro girl named Lizzie, with the other, and said to 
them, *Let us go out and be killed together.' But to 
her surprise she saw one of the busy and bloody 
warriors beckon her to him. On approaching she 
recognized him. It was Iffa Tustunnaga, meaning 

"*One of us two. Herminius, shall never more go home; 

I will lay on for Tusculum and lay thou on for Rome." 

' 'Lays of Ancient Rome. " 

fThose, at least, who have lived in the South can appreciate 
this touch of humor, as in imagination they see this old mare 
jogging along. 

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Dog Warrior. He took her prisoner with the two 
children. He took them to Pensacola, and gave 
them over to some of their friends, where they re- 
mained until the war closed, when they returned to 
their homes in Alabama. Soon after the close of 
the war my aunt married Absalom Sizemore. She 
died near Mount Pleasant in 1865. 

"When Elizabeth Randon grew to womanhood 
she married Algier Newman, and lived many years 
on the Alabama river just below Fort Claiborne in 
Monroe county. Excuse me for the digression. 

"I will get back to my subject by saying the 
Lucy Cornell's story must have been merely to 
embellish the story. But it would not havejsur- 
prised me if he had done so. All great warriors do 
such things. 

"I believe the name has always been spelled 

"Billy Weatherford was married three times, 
twice under the Indian law. His first wife, my 
grandmother, was Mary Moniac, originally spelled 
McNac. She died in 1804 at Point Thloly, which is 
in Lowndes county. His second wife was Sapoth 
Thlanie. I never "heard where or when she died. 
His third and last wife was Mary Stiggins. They 
were married under the white law in 1817. She died 
near Mount Pleasant, Monroe county, 1832. 

" I had an anecdote told me once by the mother 
of the late Colonel William Boyles, of Mobile, which 
is the only one that I have never seen in print. Mrs. 
Boyles was a widow and lived near Billy Weather- 
ford in Monroe County. She kept what was called 
at that time a wayside tavern. Weatherford, in 

Soing to and from his plantation, passed right by 
er door. They were warm friends, and she fre- 
quently invited him to eat a meal with her. On this 
Particular day she invited him to eat dinner. Just 
efore the meal was ready four strangers rode up 
and asked for dinner. All were soon seated at table, 

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176 THE CREEK WAli. 

and discussion commenced, in the course of which 
the strangers wanted to know where that bloody- 
handed savage, Billy Weatherford, lived. Mrs. 
Boyles said Weatherford's eyes sparkled. She shook 
her head at him to say nothing. The talk went on. 
Three of the strangers expressed a wish to meet 
Weatherford, assuring Mrs. Boyles they would kill 
the red-skinned, bloody-handed savage on sight. 
(Weatherford was fair, with light brown hair and 
mild black eyes.) Dinner being over, the gentlemen 
walked out on the gallery. To the surprise of the 
strangers, the man with whom they had sat at 
dinner stepped into the midst of the crowd and said : 
'Sqme of you gentlemen expressed a wish while at 
dinner to "meet Billy Weatherford. Gentlemen, 1 
am Billy Weatherford, at your service !' But, Mrs. 
Boyles said, she never saw men more frightened 
than were the three belligerently disposed gentle- 
men. Not one of the trio was entitled to a raven 
black or milk white steed. They quailed under the 
glance of the Bed Eagle's eye. Tne fourth gentle- 
man, who had said but little, stepped forward and 
shook hands with Weatherford, and introduced him- 
self as Colonel David Panthon. 
" Exit. 

" Charles Weatherford." 

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RANSOM KIMBELL with his family came from 
South Carolina to the Tombigbee River, settling 
near McGrew's Reserve about 1807, but in 1812 the 
family removed into the Bassett's Creek Valley, 
near to the home of a settler whose name was Sinque- 
field. When the stockade was built bearing this 
pioneer's name, as a protection from the dreaded 
Muscogee incursions, the Kimbell family with the 
others in that neighborhood left their plantation 
home for a residence in the stockade. After a time, 
no Indians appearing east of the Alabama, and the 
small stockade being crowded, the Kimbell family 
and the family of Abner James retired to the cooler 
and more roomy plantation cabin. They were spend- 
ing there the days of that last week in August, 1813, 
knowing indeed that there was danger, but not 
thinking how unexpectedly Indians from the east- 
ward might come upon them. 

On Tuesday evening, August 31st, quite late in 
fact into the night, as young Isham Kimbell and a 
daughter of Abner James were sitting up with a sick 
member of the household, "the dogs ran out furious- 
ly and barked violently, while the sounds of running 
human feet were so distinctly and alarmingly heard, 

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that Miss James, with admirable presence of mind, 
blew out the candle."* Yet when the morning came 
the families neglected to return to the stockade. It 
was their last opportunity. It seems to be deeply im- 
bedded in human nature not to heed warnings. On 
Wednesday, September 1, 1813, at about three o'clock 
in the afternoon, suddenly from the Creek bottom, 
Francis, called the prophet, and his warriors ap- 
peared. Ransom Kimbell was away from home. 
Abner James and a visitor named Walker were in 
sight within the house, upon whom the Indians fired; 
but neither man was wounded, and without stopping 
to make any defense for the helpless women and 
children, which in the circumstances was no doubt 
hopeless, taking along his son Thomas, fourteen 
years of age, and his daughter, Mary, Abner James 
with Walker started with all possible speed for Fort 
Sinquefield. These four reached the stockade in safe- 
ty. Isham Kimbell, a youth of sixteen, with a lit- 
tle brother was at the blacksmith shop, distant from 
the house one hundred and fifty yards. Hearing 
guns and immediately after seeing the Indians in 
his father's dooryard killing the inmates of his home 
he also started at once with his brother for the 
stockade. The distance was a little more than a 
mile. The brothers avoided the roadway. The In- 
dians saw them and fired a gun, the shot cutting the 
chincapin bushes near them but harming neither. 
Crossing a little stream that flows between the two 
localities, the elder brother fell. Regaining his feet 
and looking round, to his surprise his little brother 

♦Isaac Grant, Editor at Grove Hill, Alabama; for thirty-eight years 
a valued friend; a careful student of local history and a nrat~clasB au- 
thority. T. H.fl. 

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was not in sight. He was with him when 
the gun was fired, and was not hurt, and 
that seems to be the last certainly known 
of this child. Of his death or of his captivity among 
the Indians nothing was ever heard. Like the dis- 
appearance of Ginevra of Modena, all that was ever 
known was the brief record that he was not. On the 
6rst day of September, 1813, that young Kimbell 
boy passed strangely out from the knowledge of all 
the white dwellers in Clarke. 

The young Isham Kimbell, finding himself alone, 
hurried on towards the stockade. Uncertain in 
regard to its direction, he walked up the inclined 
body of a prostrate pine to get a better view around 
him, but hearing Indian voices on the roadway, he 
hastened down from his exposed position. He was 
soon met, almost exhausted as he now was, by 
Thomas Matlock and John O'Gwynn, who had 
heard the guns and left the stockade to reconnoitre; 
and they returned with him to the fort. 

Of the onslaught at the Kimbell home, in the door 
yard, quick, savage, and merciless as it must have 
been, there were no witnesses, except the helpless 
victims and the Muscogees. There was not much 
scattering of the families after the two men and the 
four children made their hasty retreat. The savage 
blows from clubs and tomahaws fell thick and fast. 
Scalps were removed, the domestic animals were 
killed, the house was pillaged, and in a short time 
the Muscogees were out of sight in the densely 
wooded region that bordered on the creek, leaving, 
of women and children, all supposed to be dead, 
fourteen bodies in the house and door yard. It is 

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caid above, in a short time, and short it must have 
been, perhaps not more than twenty minutes, for 
Ransom Kimbell, away on horseback, hearing the 
guns, started for his home. He reached it in time 
only to find the work of death completed, and the 
Indians, like a destroying cyclone, gone, he knew 
not where. Seeing the fearful desolation at his 
lately peaceful home,sick at heart we may well know, 
he, too, retired to the stockade. We might suppose 
that on his arrival there with his grief-laden report, a 
force would have immediately proceeded to the home 
spot to care for the dead. But the men were mostly 
absent at their plantations, and when they came 
in at night-fall, not knowing the number of the 
Indian band, nor how soon their stockade would be 
attacked, they were busy posting pickets and prepar- 
ing for defense. So the dead were left in the care of 
God. Night and darkness came, and then a gentle 
rain. One of the scalped women, Mrs. Sarah Mer- 
rill, a daughter of Abner James, although struck 
senseless by a war club, was not dead. In the night, 
perhaps with the cool rain drops falling on her, she 
revived. Her thoughts were soon for her little 
child. There were two children in the house, of the 
same size and age, and how, in the darkness, among 
the bloody, dead bodies, could she recognize her 
own ? The dress of one fortunately was fastened 
with buttons, the dress of the other only with 
strings.* This the mother well knew. She found 
her little one, a boy one year of age, and its body was 

♦Authority : Mrs. Mary Bettls, sister of Major W. J. 
Hearln, in 1832 a commission merchant in Mobile. Mrs. Bettia 
was born in 1804, and was a woman of a remarkable memory. 

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yet warm. She nursed it for a few moments and it 
revived. Its short hair had saved it from being 
scalped, and, with her living child in her arms 
standing with difficulty upon her feet, she, too, left 
that fearful spot, where there seemed to be no more 
life, and started slowly for the fort. At length, 
almost exhausted, she placed her child in a hollow 
log, and dragged herself along. In the early morning 
the inmates of the fort were startled by the slow 
approach of a feeble, scalped woman. Soon they 
recognized her, some went immediately for the 
child, and both mother and child lived. 

The remaining bodies of the dead were brought 
up the next day and buried near the stockade. 
Ransom Kimbell did not long survive; He died 
at Fort Madison. 

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The preceding diagram shows the locality of 
Fort Sinquefield and of the massacre. The letter K. 
is used to indicate the latter as Fort S. designates the 
former. The squares, as marked out, are sections or 
square miles. The curved shading east of the fort 
indicates where the slope for the valley begins. 

The table land here is about one hundred feet 
above the creek bottom, and gives to one standing 
there a fine view eastward to the Alabama. 

In 1877, I made a special examination of the 
massacre locality, and wrote the following as the 

44 Everything now on and around the scene of this 
tragic event is in keeping with what a poet or his- 
torian would like to find. Sixty-four years have 
passed away. The one survivor is an aged man. 
A growth of young pines, covering several acres, 
extends over and around the place of the massacre, 
extending westward about twenty rods. The shade 
is dark and deep in this pine grove. An old china 
tree, and the roots and decaying body of another, 
and a younger looking cedar, are near where the 
house once stood." 

"It seems a pity that this solitude should ever be 
disturbed. It certainly ought to be left for the sun- 
shine and the birds." 

Isham Kimbell, the one survivor of the Kimbell 
family, became an influential citizen in Clarke 
county. He was for many years clerk of the Circuit 
court, and held other public offices. He started with 
nothing and accumulated by diligent effort property 
amounting in value to forty thousand dollars. He 
has many descendants now living. 

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TO the writer of this chapter it seems that full 
credence can well be given to a statement 
coming down from James Cornells in regard to a 
great council held by the hostile Creeks on the 
Alabama River (perhaps at the Holy Ground), some 
two weeks prior to the attack on Fort Mims. In 
this council it was resolved to divide the Creek army 
into two divisions, and make a simultaneous attack 
on two forts. Fort Mims was unanimously selected 
in the very beginning of the council as one of the 
forts, since a large number of its inmates were the 
antagonibts of the Creeks at Burnt Corn, — mostly 
half-breeds, against whom the Red Stick party 
seemed to entertain a special animosity. A discus, 
sion lasting two days then ensued, in which it was de- 
bated whether the second fort should be Fort Madison 
or Fort Sinquefield. It was finally decided in favor 
of the latter, and a force of one hundred and twen- 
ty-five warriors was assigned to the Prophet Francis, 
with which to operate against that stockade. At 
what time or place Francis and his warriors sepa- 
rated from the main Creek army can not 

We return to the Fork of the Tombigbee and the 
Alabama. It was near sunset on the last day of 

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August that the Tory Creek, Nah-hee, who had 
been out on an excursion, returned to Fort Madison 
and informed the garrison of the downfall of Fort 
Mims and of the presence of a large body of Creek 
warriors in the Fork, under the Prophet Francis. 
When this appalling news was heard, for a while the 
wildest panic prevailed. Some of the men grew 
deadly pale, women and children shrieked with 
terror, and many feared that Fort Madison would 
soon experience the same fate as Fort Mims. When 
the panic had spent its force, the garrison betook 
themselves zealously to their duties with the firm- 
resolve to defend the post to the last. Nah-hee, who 
spent much of his time scouting, some days after- 
wards reported to Captain Dale that about the time 
of the massacre at* Fort Mims, Francis and his war- 
riors camped one night in the " Wolfs Den," a large 
deep ravine at the head of Cedar Creek, some three 
miles east of Fort Madison. Thence the Creek 
warriors moved northward, and on the middle of the 
afternoon of the first of September they committed 
the atrocious massacre on Bassett's Creek, of which 
a full and exhaustive account has been recorded in 
the preceding chapter. 

When Colonel Carson, at Fort Madison, heard of 
this massacre, he sent early the next morning, the 
second of September, eleven mounted men, under 
Lieutenant James Bailey, armed with rifles, mus- 
kets, and holster pistols, up to Fort Sinquefield to 
assist in burying the dead and to learn the number 
of the Indians. John Woods. Isaac Hayden, and 
James Smith were of Bailey's party. 

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There were about fifteen arms-bearing men in 
Fort Sinquefield. The inmates were mostly the fami- 
lies of the settlers on Bassett's Creek. Among these 
was an aged man, named Charles Phillips, who had 
a large family of children, several married, among 
them Charles Phillips, Jr. In addition to the white 
families there were also a few friendly Creeks, or, as 
they were called in the language of the times, Tory 
Creeks, who had taken refuge in the fort. 

Upon the arrival of Lieutenant Bailey's party, as 
has been stated, some of the garrison went with him 
^tnd his soldiers out to Ransom Kim bell's house, and 
brought back in an ox cart the twelve bodies of the 
slain. On the east side of the present Grove Hill 
road, about seventy yards southeast of the fort, the 
graves were dug for the dead. 

It was now about eleven o'clock and a large 
portion of the people were out at the graves attend- 
ing the burial. About this time Mrs. Sarah Phillips, 
wife of Charles Phillips, Jr., with two or three other 
women, took a bucket apiece and went down to the 
spring to bring some water. Several women were 
already at the spring, busily engaged in washing. 
A small guard had been detailed for the protection 
of these women, but instead of accompanying the 
women down to the spring, the guard only went 
half way down the hill, there seated themselves on 
a log and engaged in idle conversation. 

The burial services were now drawing to a close. 
At this time the elder Charles Phillips and Isham 
Kimbell were sitting in front of the gateway, which 
was on the west line of the picketing, near the south- 
west corner, and conversing about the massacre, 

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when Phillips happening to look towards the south, 
saw what he supposed to be a flock of wild turkeys 
coming towards the fort. Phillips called the atten- 
tion of Kimbell to them remarking, " Look yonder, 
what a fine gang of turkeys." But the younger 
eyes of his companion saw at once that the supposed 
turkeys were a large band of Creek warriors ad- 
vancing in a stooping position towards the fort. In 
an instant the shout of alarm was given and all 
were told to run into the fort. The party still 
lingering at the grave, rushed to the gate, the men 
seizing the smaller children and bearing them in 
their arms. The guard on the log also rushed into 
the place of refuge. The women at the spring, who 
had just finished their washing, heard the warning 
shouts, and began to flee for dear life, up the hill 
to the fort. As soon as the alarm was given, the 
Indians straightened themselves up and began to run 
forward with lightning speed so as to cut off the 
entrance of the burial party into the fort. They 
were about a hundred in number, armed with guns, 
tomahawks, and war clubs, and were commanded by 
the Prophet Francis. They were dressed in the 
Visual Indian garb, their faces painted, their heads 
encircled with crowns or chaplets of upright turkey 
feathers, and many of them had a cow's tail tied on 
each arm from the shoulder to the wrist, the long 
hairs of the tail depending from the wrist. The In- 
dians had run but a short distance, when seeing that 
they could not cut off the burial party, they saw 
then, for the first time, the women just beginning 
their flight from the spring. With appalling yells 
and waving of cow tails, they instantly whirled to 

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the left and rushed down a hill to cut off the escape 
of the helpless females. To all human appearance, 
the escape of the women was hopeless and an awful 
death stared them in the face as they strained every 
nerve in upward flight towards the gate. Closer 
and closer did the swift-footed Muscogees press up- 
on them and nearer and nearer did the savage war 
whoop sound upon their ears. 

At this juncture of terror and confusion every- 
where, Isaac Hayden suddenly conceived a bold and 
unique plan for the rescue of the women. Instantly 
leaping upon a horse, to the saddle of which was 
attached a pair of holster pistols, Jie cheered all the 
dogs in the fort, about sixty in number, and gal. 
loped down the hill with the fierce yelling pack 
upon the Indians. The Creek warriors, appalled 
by the onset 6f these new and savage foes, were 
compelled to halt and defend themselves for some 
moments against their savage fury. It was a 
singular encounter, — the fierce brutes, some baying 
and others leaping on and throttling the red warriors. 
In the struggle, some of the dogs were killed and 
some wounded. In the meantime, the daring Hay- 
den was not inactive. Seeing one of the women hard, 
pressed by an Indian, he galloped to her rescue with 
pistol in hand and shot down the warrior dead in 
his tracks, just as he had his tomahawk poised to 
strike the fatal blow. Hayden's "dogs of war" 
had by this time done their duty well and had so 
checked the charge of the Indians, that all the 
women, save one, safely escaped into the fort. A 
negro woman, who was of the party, with wash-pot 
on her head, was the first to reach the gate. Almost 

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bereft of her senses, when she heard the terrible cry 
of " Indians " she did not think to throw her pot 
aside, but bore it, poised with one hand on her head, 
all the way from the spring to the gate. 

It was, indeed a terrible race for the women up 
that steep hill. One young woman, Miss Winnie 
Odora, had nearly reached the gate when she sank 
to the earth in terror and exhaustion. A soldier 
rushed out, gun in hand, and seizing her by the 
hair, thus dragged her into the gate. Such was the 
exigency of the occasion. 

Mrs. Sarah Phillips was the unfortunate woman 
who failed to make her escape. Being in a delicate 
condition, she could not run fast and so was soon 
left in the rear* Three Indians, one of them a 
prophet, frightfully painted, sprang forward to 
intercept her flight. The prophet gave vent to the 
most unearthly screeching and yelling^ at the same 
time waving aloft a cow's tail fastened to the end of 
a staff. The poor woman ran with all her might. 
She had reached about half way to the fort when, 
weakened with terror, she fainted and fell. But for 
this it was supposed that she might have made her 
escape. In a moment one of the warriors reached 
the spot where she lay, sank his tomahawk into her 
head, tore off the reeking scalp, and otherwise 
mutilated her person. It seems that Mrs. Phillips 
was slain just before Hay den had shot down the 
warrior mentioned above. 

The daring Hayden, in his generous rescue, had 
,done all that man could do. His task now over, for 
a moment, as he afterwards confessed, he was 
greatly bewildered what to do next, whether to-dash 

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off into the woods, or rush back into the fort. All 
at once, yielding to some strange impulse, he put 
his horse to the top of his speed and galloped 
entirely around the fort back to the front, and then 
dashed through the gate. The good horse had just 
cleared the gateway and was safe in the fort, when 
he fell to the earth, creased through the neck by a 
Creek bullet. It was an hour before he recovered and 
rose to his feet. Hayden, the bold rider, had run a 
narrow risk. Many a rifle had been fired at him, 
and five bullet holes were counted in his clothes. 

The gate was now closed. The Indians then sur- 
rounded the stockade on all sides, but the main body 
massed themselves on the south, and the siege began 
in earnest. On the outside were still the faithful 
dogs, to whose furious onslaught on the Creek war- 
riors the women were indebted for their safety. 
They now became frightened at the uproar of battle, 
and all fled, panic-stricken, to the neighboring for- 
est, and, with but few exceptions, were never after- 
wards recovered by their owners. 

The furious fire which was opened by the Creek 
warriors upon the stockade was vigorously returned. 
The garrison, numbering, soldiers and citizens, all 
told, about thirty men, were resolved to defend the 
post to the last. That very morning they had heard 
of the terrible downfall of Fort Mims, and were 
resolved, if it could be averted by human bravery, 
that no such fate should befall Sinquefield. A little 
incident, occurring at the very outset, gave the 
Indians great hopes of winning an easy prize. 
James Short, one of the citizens, was among the 
first to fire upon the besiegers. His gun, it seems, 


had been loaded a long time, and the powder was 
probably in a damp condition. As he fired it off 
the gun gave a long, spattering fire. The Creeks 
noticed this and shouted to each other in exulting 
glee, "They are almost out of powder." This 
exclamation, which was either in the Muscogee, or 
the Alibamo tongue, was interpreted by one of the 
Tory Creeks to the garrison, some of whom shouted 
back, defiantly, in reply, 4% Come on and we will 
show you whether we are almost out of powder." A 
well directed fire, accordingly, undeceived the 
Indians, and checked their nearer approach. It 
was, perhaps, at this time that one of the pursuers 
of Mrs. Phillips, the prophet, was slain. He had 
approached near the gate, and began to leap to and 
fro near a tree, sometimes behind it, sometimes 
beside it, in full view of the garrison, all the time 
waving his cow tail and eucouraging his warrjors, 
when a bullet from the fort ended his prophetic 
career forever. 

In the garrison, at the beginning of the fight, 
there was great excitement among the women and 
children, who screamed and shrieked in their terror. 
Some of the men thereupon went among them and 
soon succeeded in pacifying them, telling them not 
to be frightened, that they would certainly drive off 
the Indians. The women and children were then 
placed in the lower story of the block house, where 
some of the women busied themselves in moulding 
bullets, v 

During all this time, a continuous fire was kept 
up by both parties. The men had taken positions 
at the various port holes of the stockade and some 

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in the block house. The Indians took their positions 
behind trees and stumps, and quite a number behind 
Sinquefield's abandoned log cabin, which stood about 
seventy -five yards to the south. Others were in 
more exposed places. These latter would rise from 
the earth, deliver their fire, then throwing them- 
selves again on the ground, and while reloading 
would roll to and fro, keeping their bodies in con- 
stant motion, so as to baffle the aim of the marks- 
men in the garrison. The Indians all fought with 
great bravery. If one was killed or badly wounded 
his companions dragged him off the field, back to 
the rear, as it was a custom of the Creeks never to 
permit an enemy to get possession of the bodies of 
their slain warriors if it were possible to prevent it. 
Those behind Sinquefield's house would come to the 
corners of the house and there deliver their 
fice. One warrior even ventured into the 
house and was there slain by a bullet 
that came through a crack; and for several 
3 r ears after could be seen the stain of his blood upon 
the puncheon floor. Another warrior had his arm 
broken not far from Sinquefield's house, and after 
making some vain efforts to reload his rifle with one 
arm, he retreated behind the house. Word was ac- 
cordingly passed among the garrison to watch for 
him and for two or three to keep their fire in reserve 
for him. As was expected, it was not long before 
the crippled warrior attempted to retreat, when 
the sure aim of these marksmen stretched him 
lifeless upon the earth. - But some of his com- 
panions succeeded in dragging his body off the 

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The post assigned to James Smith, Stephen Lacey, 
and a few others, who were all fine marksmen, was 
in the upper story of the block house, whence they 
poured a destructive fire upon the Indians. Whilst 
these men were thus busily engaged, Mrs. Lacey and 
Mrs. Thomas Phillips, for some purpose, came up 
from below. The attention of Lacey at this time directed to a large pine tree, about seventy-five 
yards to the south, behind which were posted several 
warriors. Lacey fired at this party several times. 
At last, he shot one down, and turning to his com- 
rades, he exultingly exclaimed : " I have turned over 
one of the red skins." A few moments afterwards, 
whilst peering through the port hole preparatory to 
another fire, the brave man fell backward at the feet 
of his wife, who happened to be standing behind 
him. He had received his death wound, a rifle ball 
passing through his neck. The men present instantly 
realizing that any loud wailings of grief would give 
encouragement to the Creek warriors, if heard by 
them, cautioned Mrs. Lacey to control herself and 
give vent to no noisy exclamations. They wished 
to keep the Creeks ignorant of the fact that any of 
the garrison was slain. The poor woman, though 
suffering an agony of grief over her husband,heeded 
their admonition. As the dying man lay upon the 
floor, the blood gushed in torrents from the fatal 
wound, and through a crack poured down upon the 
floor of the story beneath, where were huddled to- 
gether the women and children — an awful sight to 
eyes unused to the carnage of war. It seems that 
the party behind the tree had, at last, observed the 
particular port-hole, from which Lacey had sent so 

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many leaden messengers of death, and concentrating 
their fire upon it, one fatal ballet did its sure work. 
Lacey's comrades stated that the ball came from the 
very tree, behind which this party of warriors was 
concealed. Laceywas the only man killed in the 
fort. He was a good, upright citizen and lived 
about two miles north of Fort Sinquefield. 

About the same time that Lacey was killed, 
James Dubose, a boy about ten years of age, while 
on the stairway leading from the lower to the upper 
story of the block house, was slightly wounded in 
the back by a ball. 

In the meantime, in the excitement and confu- 
sion of the fight, Charles Phillips was, for some 
time, ignorant of the death of his wife. He did not 
even know that she bad gone out with the other 
women to the spring. When, at last, the terrible 
news was communicated to him that his wife was 
lying outside a mangled corpse, he became frantic 
with grief. In his wild frenzy, he was on the point 
of rushing out alone upon the Indians, when some 
of his comrades seized him and held him until the 
end of the seige. 

The fight at Fort Sinquefield began about mid- 
day and lasted two hours, John Woods firing 
the last shot at the enemy. At the very 
close of the fight, he saw a warrior partially % 
concealed behind a stump. Woods fired and broke 
the Indian's right arm. After reloading his rifle, he 
saw that the warrior,owing perhaps to the pain of his 
wound, had uncounsciously exposed his left arm on 
the other side of the stump. Woods fired again, tbe 
shot again took effect, and the Indian sprang to his 

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feet and fled, a broken arm dangling helplessly at 
each side. The Creeks now despaired of success, and 
desisting from the siege, they retreated, taking with 
them all the horses hitched near the fort. Some of 
these horses belonged to citizens in th3 fort, others 
to Lieutenant Bailey's troopers. It was upon one 
of the latter that Hayden made his desperate 
charge. It may here be stated that three of the 
horses captured at Fort Sinquefield were, several 
days afterward, recaptured by Lieutenant Brad- 
berry's command from a party of Indians, to which 
they gave chase, but which they could not bring to 

As soon as the Indians had retired from the fort, 
Phillips went out with some of his friends and 
brought in the body of his wife. Over the mangled 
corpse, Philips gave vent to an agony of grief. A 
profound sympathy pervaded the garrison for the 
bereaved man and the motherless children, and 
many mingled their tears with those shed by the hus- 
band and the kindred of the dead. It was a heart- 
rending scene. The settlers all present knew Mrs. 
Phillips well. She was a kind-hearted, religious 
woman, and universally beloved. She and Lacey 
were buried that evening, but there is some un- 
certainty as to the particular place on the fort 
grounds where their graves were made. 

About an hour after the departure of the In- 
dians, some of the people took the trail and follow- 
ed it "about two miles. Upon their return, they 
reported this, and the people, fearing a possible 
return of the Indians in greater numbers, resolved 
to abandon the fort as early as possible and retire to 

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Fort Madison. A small portion of the people left 
Fort Sinquefield for Fort Madison late that even- 
ing. They did not move off in a solid body, but in 
quite a disorderly manner, some arriving at Fort 
Madison about the usual bed time, others, late in the 
night. In fact there were continuous arrivals dur- 
ing the entire night. Some of the women were 
badly frightened on their retreat, their fears fre- 
quently converting an innocent black stump into a 
blood thirsty Creek warrior, whereat they would 
give vent to shrieks of terror. 

Among the inmates of Fort Sinquefield, was a 
man, named George Bunch. When he heard that 
the people were determined to go to Fort Madison, 
he cowardly abandoned his wife and children, 
struck out alone and was the very first man to 
arrive at the place of refuge. His poor wife — the 
family had but little worldly substance — in prepar- 
ing for her departure, empied a bed tick and filled it 
with all the family clothing and such other domestic 
articles as she prized. Throwing this heavy bundle 
on her shoulders, and encumbered besides with the 
care of two small children, she left the fort with the 
evening party. She was not able to travel as fast as 
the others, and consequently was soon left alone in 
the rear. All night, on her weary way, with the 
horror of the lurking savage harrowing.hersoul, and 
taking only occasional intervals of rest, the poor 
woman staggered along under her heavy burden. 
At sunrise she reached Fort Madison. She had just 
passed the guards, when, at last, relieved from all 
anxiety, she sank to the earth in a swooning fit. 
But kindly hearts and hands quickly and willingly 

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administered to her comfort. Such were some of 
the trials of the women of the frontier. Mrs. Bunch 
was the last arrival of the evening party at Fort 
Madison as her coward husband was the first. 
The world has its cowards as well as its heroes. 
Hayden is a type of one class, Bunch of the other. 

The day after the attack on the fort, the soldiers 
and the remaining families arrived at Fort Madison, 
where the inmates of Forts Glass and Lavier had 
also taken refuge. As a trophy of the Sinquefield 
fight, some of the party brought down with them 
the prophet's magical banner. It was a large cow's 
tail, dyed red, and the end of a red staff inserted 
and tightly fastened in the orifice, from which the 
bone had been taken, the staff, altogether, being 
about five feet long. 

The loss of the Greeks at Fort Sinquefield was 
eleven killed on the field. Their wounded were, 
doubtless, much more numerous. With the excep- 
tion of the prophet, killed near the gate, all the 
slain warriors were dragged, during the progress of 
the fight, down the hill, towards the spring. There 
they were slightly buried by being covered with 
leaves and brush, and for many years after their 
bones could be seen. After leaving Fort Sinquefield 
Francis and his warriors retreated across the Ala- 
bama River to Burnt Oorn Spring. From informa- 
tion given by some of Mr. Eimbell's negroes, who 
were captured by the Indians and afterwards re- 
covered, many of the severely wounded Creek war- 
riors died after crossing the Alabama River. It is 
very probable that not all of Francis' warriors 
crossed the Alabama. From the fact, as has been 

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stated, that a few of the horses captured at Fort 
Sinquefield were, several days afterwards, recaptured 
by Lieutenant Bradberry's command, it may well be 
supposed that some of Francis' warriors may have 
remained in the Fork. 

The attack of Francis and his warriors on Fort 
Sinquefield was not characterized by that stratagem 
and sound judgment displayed by the other Creek 
war party, which enabled them to be so successful 
in the capture of Fort Mims. If during some day. 
or night, previous to the fight, Francis had led his 
warriors forward and secreted them near Fort 
Sinquefield, and there patiently watched his oppor- 
tunity, then seizing the supreme moment had rushed 
forward, he might, by dint of overwhelming num- 
bers, have taken the place by assault, and ruthlessly 
massacred every living being within its walls, and 
the name of Fort Sinquefield would have stood next 
to that of Fort Mims in the catalogue of Indian 
horrors. But by the unsearchable decree of the 
Supreme Buler of events, such a dark chapter was 
never to be recorded on the pages of Alabama 


In collating and compiling the facts for the 
chapter on Fort Sinquefield, free use has been 
made of the histories of Pickett and Meek, of Bev. 
T. H. Ball's History of Clarke County, of an account 
of Fort Sinquefield by Mr. Isaac Grant, published 
in the Clarke County Democrat, and of a letter of 
General F. L. Claiborne, dated September 21, 1813, 
published in an issue of the American Weekly Mes- 
senger of that year. 

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In addition to the above printed authorities, sev- 
eral facts were derived from the late Rev. Josiah 
Allen, of Jasper County, Mississippi. Mr. Allen 
was well acquainted with many of the participants 
in the fight at the fort, as Isaac Hay den, James 
Smith, John Woods, and Isham Kimbell, and often 
heard them relate incidents of the fight. For many 
years too, he was intimately associated with James 
Cornells, and often conversed with him in regard to 
the war. The opening paragraph of the chapter 
states a fact related by Cornells to Mr. Allen, 
Cornells receiving this information from the Creeks 
after the war. 

In 1886, the aged Mr. Clement Phillips, of New- 
ton County, Mississippi, a son of Mrs. Phillips killed 
at the fort, gave the writer all the circumstances 
connected with the death of his mother, and other 
incidents of the fight, that he had often heard 
related in his father's family. The incident of the 
supposed wild turkeys was related by Mr. Phillips in 
substantially the same manner as described by Mr. 
Ball and Mr. Grant. 

The writer is also indebted to the late Mr. Presly 
Odom, also of Newton County, for some incidents. 
Mr. Odom was a brother of Miss Winnie Odom, 
mentioned in the narrative. All his father's family 
were in the fort at the time of the attack. 

Two slight incidents were received from the Rev. 
John Brown, of Lauderdale County Mississippi, 
whose eldest sister was a member of the fort. 

Other parties, who had good opportunities for 
obtaining information, likewise gave incidents, but 
we consider it unneccessarv to give their names, as 
these incidents were precisely the same as those given 
by the above quoted parties. It is sufficient to say 
that after reviewing and comparing all the state- 
ments, we conscientiously believe that the chapter 
gives an authentic account of the attack on Fort 
Sinquefield by the Creek Indians, and the circum- 
stances connected therewith. H. S. H. 

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THE inmates of Fort Sinquefield had retired to 
Fort Madison. Colonel Carson at Fort Glass, 
it may be again stated, was the military commander 
between the two rivers. More than a thousand per- 
sons were now at these two neighboring stockades, 
Glass and Madison. 

It became desirable, as great anxiety was here 
prevailing, to send a special communication to Gen- 
eral Claiborne at Mount Vernon. Whether the se- 
lection was made by choice or whether it was a vol- 
untary offer of services is not now known, but cer- 
tainly a good messenger was found in the person of 
Jeremiah Austill, nineteen years of age, son of Cap- 
tain Evan Austill, and now commencing an active 
and dangerous career in the service of the white set- 
tlers. Mounted on a fleet cavalry horse he set out 
alone in the still hours of night. It was needful to 
proceed cautiously so as not to lose the way and in 
order to avoid any lurking Indians that might spring 
out from some night ambush. In a straight line the 
distance to Fort Carney was about thirteen miles. 
And from Fort Carney to Mount Vernon twenty- 
four miles. By the only route that a horse could 
travel the whole distance must have been more than 

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forty miles.* The solitary and wary horseman 
passed on, meeting with no adventure till he reached 
the river bottoms, and there found himself uncertain 
whether he was above or below Fort Carney. Rid- 
ing as near as practicable to the river bank, he gave 
a good imitation of an Indian warwhoop. Soon 
there came to his ears in quick response, the loud 
defying bark of some fifty dogs. • He thus learned 
the exact location of the fort and turned his horse 
in that direction. It was distant about half a mile. 
He soon reached the gateway, announced himself, 
and found a warm welcome from the startled men, 
women, and children, who were all glad to find that 
the warwhoop which roused their dogs had not pro- 
ceeded from Muscogee lips. After partaking of a 
warm supper and allowing his horse some time for 
rest and food, both horse and rider were ferried over 
the Tombigbee, and again the courier was on his 
way. Passing west of the Sun Flower Bend, and 
then of Mcintosh's Bluff, in the dawn of the morn- 
ing he reached Mount Vernon. General Claiborne 
was astonished, after receiving the dispatches, to 
learn that the young courier had made that night 
trip alone, and was disposed to blame Colonel Car- 
son for sending no escort. But the bold, young 
Austill replied, that his ears were quick to catch 
sounds and that his eyes were keen, as quick and keen 
as the ears and eyes of the native Bed men, and that 
companions would only have increased the danger; and 
that his own recourses and the sagacity and speed of 

*I passed over alone, on horseback, in the hours of a not 
very bright day, the first part of this same line as far as Salt 
Mountain, and found it to be, in the day time, a wild, long, lone- 
some road. T. II. B. 

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his horse were the hopeful things on which to rely if 
attacked by the Indians. He bore back to Colonel 
Carson an order, designed, as it afterwards appeared, 
to be discretionary, but interpreted then as per- 
emptory, to abandon forts Glass and Madison and 
retire west of the Tombigbee to St. Stephens. At 
this old French and Spanish station were embank- 
ments and earthworks, and it was considered, so far 
as the Creeks were concerned, impregnable. There 
was severe disappointment and there was even 
dismay at Fort Madison, on the reception of this 
order, for it seemed, to the thousand assembled 
there, that Claiborne was abandoning the whole 
body of settlers in Clarke county. Their crops 
needed to be gathered. Their plantations were at 
this time deserted, the Indians they knew were 
committing depredations, burning houses, driving 
off their cattle, turning the hogs into the corn fields 
that they might be well fattened for the feasts which 
the Indians were designing that fall to hold ; and 
these white settlers saw before them a prospect of 
suffering from the want of food. A consultation 
was held. Some eighty citizens enrolling themselves 
under the two captains, Evan Austill and Samuel 
Dale, determined to remain with their families at 
Fort Madison and protect themselves and their 
homes. It was a sad parting as some five hundred 
or more set out with Colonel Carson and his troops 
for St. Stephens. Then those who remained at Fort 
Madison took additional precautions. They placed 
slanting pickets around on the outside of their stock 
ade. They contrived to keep up a light, which was 
forty feet high,and this light — not electric — made by 

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that fat, heavy lightwood of the long leaf pine, 
illumined a circle into which no Indian could step 
with safety. 

The following is an extract from a letter written 
by Judge H. Austill of Mobile, son of Major J. 
Austill, dated Mobile, March 5, 1894. It was writ- 
ten in answer to some inquires which I made. 

" I have often heard my father speak of the 
light at Fort Madison, and have no doubt you got 
the account from hinTas to the height. I remem- 
ber the particulars as follows : When the garrison 
of soldiers and most of the people left Fort Madison 
those who determined to remain elected my grand- 
father captain. He had a tall pine pole erected in 
the middle of the fort, and built around it a scaf* 
folding with a hole in the center so that it could be 
raised by pushing it up the pole. On this, earth was 
placed so that the burning pine would not ignite 
the boards. On this a light was kept burning at 
night, and you will remember that our fat pine 
throws a light a long way.* 

This was resorted to, to prevent the necessity of 
putting out pickets at night and reducing the fight- 
ing men. All those pioneers were in the habit 
of shooting deer at night by shining their eyes, — 
fire hunting, as it was called — and their aim to the 
limits of that lighted circle would have been deadly." 

These pioneer settlers, with no troops to help 
them, did not mean to repeat the Fort Mims experi- 
ment of trifling with the Indians. They knew the 
Indians too well to despise them. Captain Austill 

*Yes, we have hunted together In that "Bigbee" region too 
many nights for me to forget that. T. H. B. 

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had been with his family for fourteen years at the 
Cherokee agency in Georgia, civilizing and helping 
the Cherokees. He knew the Indian character well. 
The younger Austill had grown up among the Cher- 
okees. Captain Dale had been for years familiar 
with Cherokees and Creeks. He had great respect 
for the Indian character. The Creeks called him 
familiarly Big Sam. Judge Meek calls him the 
Daniel Boone of Alabama. These were the right 
kind of men to be here in command. Well has 
Judge Meek said of these, now pioneer citizen 
soldiers : "They were men well calculated, both by 
nature and habits of life, to meet such an emergency. 
With no dependence but the axe and the rifle* they 
had brought their families through the wilderness, 
and made them homes upon the table-plains and 
rich alluvial bottoms of our two principal streams. 
The character and habits of the Indians they under- 
stood well, their stratagems in warfare, their guile 
and cunning. With a flexibility of nature that still 
retained its superiority, they accommodated them- 
selves to these, and were prepared, as far as their 
limited numbers would go, for the necessities of 
either peace or war. To a spectator, the strange 
buckskin garb, the hunting shirt, leggings and moc- 
casins, the long and heavy rifle, the large knife 
swinging by the shot-bag, the proud, erect deport- 
ment, but cautious tread, and the keen, far-seeing, 
but apparently passive eye, of the settler in the fork 
of the Alabama and Tombickbee, upon the Tensaw, 
or about Port St. Stephens, would have spoken much 
of the moral energies and purposes of the man." 

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Of this class were the eighty men at Fort Madi- 
son, proposing to defend against Muscogee warriors 
their families and their homes. 

Softie two weeks after the departure of the 
troops, General Claiborne went up to St. Stephens, 
and seeing the situation of the settlers between the 
rivers, he sent Oolonel Carson and his men back to 
Fort Madison. 

Such was the lone night ride, in the early 
autumn, of the young Austill, and such its results; 
and although the message borne was not so moment- 
ous, the ride itself, not yet immortalized by any 
bard, was one of greater danger and over a much 
wilder region than was, in April of 1775, that " mid- 
night ride of Paul Revere/' 

Note— Captain Evan Austill, who settled in that Fort Madi- 
son neighborhood in 1812, died in October, the 18th, 1818, forty- 
5S y »^ ars of age> " from ex P°8 ur « in Florida in the Indian 
t* £ ^ marDle slaD stands by the roadside, near the site of 
Fort Madison, and the plain inscription upon it tells the passing 
traveller the place of the repose of his dust. It was for him a 
fitting burial place. Long may those few acres of land remain 
undisturbed by axe or spade or plow. T. H. B. 

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IT was not unusual for the inmates of the forts in 
the Fork to go out occasionally to visit their 
farms and bring back with them supplies for their 
immediate use. These visits were always attended 
with danger, for small Creek war parties were con- 
tinually travelling over the country, committing all 
kinds of depredations. It was often noticed as a 
singular and unaccountable fact that when the 
farmers housed their corn in cribs in the fields it was 
almost invariably burned by these predatory parties; 
but when stored in the regular cribs near their resi- 
dences it was .never disturbed. 

On the morning of the sixth of September, a man 
named Josiah Fisher, with his three sons, left Fort 
Madison and went out to his farm, situated on the 
Alabama River about a quarter of a mile above Size- 
more's ferry. Fisher had married a Creek woman 
and had a half-breed family. About sunset, Ben, 
one of the sons, while shelling pease in the yard, was 
shot in the back. Instantly springing up, he made 
his escape to the woods. His father, then in the 
cane, came running out, in a stooping position, to 
learn the cause of the firing, when he also was shot, 
the ball entering his breast and coming out at the 
back. He likewise fled to the forest. As he started 

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to run a warrior shouted to him in the Muscogee 
tongue, with which Fisher was familiar, " That is the 
way to do it." The other two Fishers being in dif- 
ferent parts of the field, fled to the fort and reported 
the death of their father and brother. The next 
morning Ben came in, bleeding from his wounds, 
from which he happily recovered. It was now sup- 
posed that the elder Fisher was dead. But on the 
afternoon of the succeeding day some of the people 
who happened to be outside of the fort, saw a man 
afar off, in a stooping position, coming up the ridge 
road. As he came nearer they recognized him as 
Fisher and went forward to meet him. His wound 
was, indeed, a most desperate one. Drury Allen, 
one of the party, remarked to him : "Fisher, I do 
not wish to discourage you, but you will die of that 
wound." "No," was Fisher's reply, "if it was go- 
ing to kill me I would have died before now." He 
then told them the cause of his long delay in reach- 
ing the fort ; that when he exerted himself too much 
in walking it caused a flow of blood which almost 
strangled him ; consequently, he was compelled to 
walk very slowly and cautiously and in a stooping 

Fisher recovered from his wound, but it ulti- 
mately caused his death. Some two or three years 
after the war he had a corn-shucking at his house. 
Happening to engage in a friendly tussle with one 
of the corn-shuckers, he ruptured a blood vessel in 
the region of the old wound and died immediately 
from the hemorrhage. 

Moses Savel was an inmate of Fort Madison and 
the owner of a mill on SavePs Branch, a small tribu- 


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tary of Bassett's Creek. About the last of 
September a detail of twelve men was sent 
from Fort Madison to this mill to get 
some corn ground. Late in the afternoon, when the 
work was finished, the party started out on their 
return, leaving behind a negro, named Phil Creagh, 
to close up the mill, but telling him to overtake 
them as soon as he could. When the party arrived 
at the fort, it was noticed that the negro was not 
with them. Five days afterwards, he made Jiis ap- 
pearance with a tale of captivity and escape. He 
stated that while he was adjusting the things in the 
mill, a party of Indians entered and seized him. 
They took their captive up the Alabama Eiver to a 
point several miles below Lower Peach Tree, where 
they had a canoe concealed. Here they crossed over 
to their camp, which was occupied by their families. 
It may here be stated that the Greeks did not regard 
captured negroes in the same light that they did 
white prisoners. Instead of putting them to death, 
their custom was to keep tbem as slaves. The fron- 
tier negroes were aware of this fact. Phil stayed 
with the Indians four days, and was kindly treated 
by them, being fed bountifully on venison and 
honey. Of the latter, the Indians had a large sup- 
ply, kept in deer skins. Phil manifested no appar- 
ent disposition to make his escape, but seemed con- 
tent with his situation, thus completely lulling his 
captors' suspicions. Every morning the men went 
out hunting, leaving their captive in camp with 
their families. Phil, meanwhile, was patiently bi- 
ding his time. On the morning of the fifth day, he 
saw his opportunity. When the hunters had been 




gone about half an hour, he quietly slipped off to 
the river, took the canoe, and paddled across. Just 
as he reached the other shore, some of the women 
saw him and shouted the alarm. Phil heard it and 
knew that some of the hunters must have heard it 
too ; so he began bis retreat as fast as his legs would 
carry him. He struck after a while the ridge path 
and hurried along in it until he was completely ex- 
hausted. He then went out to one side, about fifty 
yards from the path, and laid himself down behind 
a log to rest. In, perhaps, about an hour, he saw 
four Indians coming along the path in hot pursuit. 
They passed him without discovering that he had 
abandoned the path and continued their onward 
pursuit. Phil thought it best to still lie close. In 
about an hour, as it seemed to him, he saw the In- 
dians returning, having evidently given up the pur- 
suit. After they had completely disappeared from 
sight, he arose, resumed his flight, and about sunset, 
arrived safe and sound at Fort Madison. Phil was 
satisfied with his Indian experience. 

One morning, not long after the above incident, 
an inmate of Fort Madison, named Miller, employed 
a boy about sixteen years of age, named Ben Arun- 
del, a brother-in-law of James Smith, one of the 
heroes of the canoe fight, to go out to his farm, sit- 
uated about a mile and a half above the present 
Suggsville, and dig some potatoes for him. Several 
persons, among these Ben's own father, endeavored 
to dissuade him from going, telling him he ran a 
great risk from parties of Indians that might be in 
the country. But Ben was obstinate, swearing that 
he was not born to be killed by an Indian. Miller 

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mounted Ben on his mare, lent him his musket and 
bayonet, and Ben went out to Miller's farm, whence 
he never returned. During the day Ben's father 
became very uneasy, mounted his horse and went 
out to find him ; but he returned about sunset with- 
out his son. He told his friends that he knew that 
Ben was killed ; for while on the way to Miller's 
house, he came across the tracks of two or three 
Indians going in the same direction, and soon he 
heard the report of a gun. He now knew that 
his son was killed, and he thought it prudent to re- 
turn to the fort. The next morning Miller's mare 
returned, doubtless having broke loose from the 
fence where she was tied when the gun was fired. 
Lieutenant Brad berry then went with his company 
out to the farm. They found Ben lying in the po- 
toto patch dead and scalped and the bayonet of his 
musket thrust in his throat. The Indians had taken 
the musket and the amunition. The party buried 
Ben and then marched back to the fort. 


The above incidents were related to the writer 
several years ago by the Rev. Josiah Allen and his 
brother Henry, both of whom were inmates of Fort 
Madison and knew well all the parties mentioned. 
The incident of the Fishers can also be seen in 
Pickett's history, but here given more in detail from 
the recollections of the Aliens. H. S. H. 

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IN 1813. the nation of the Choctaws occupied that 
portion of the present State of Mississippi extend 
ing from the old counties of Wayne and Hancock 
on the south to Line Creek and Tallahatchie River, 
on the north and from the Tombigbee River on the 
east to the Mississippi River and Bayou Pierre on the 
west. The traditional policy of this tribe, from time 
immemorial, had been that of steadfast friendship 
towards the whites. In the exciting crisis of 1813, 
tampered with by British and Spanish emissaries, \ 
some slight temporary dissaffection, may, possibly, 
have arisen among the more ignorant classes ; but 
the bulk of the nation, influenced, as they were, by 
their great Mingoes, and by the noted Indian coun- 
trymen in their midst, Pitchlyn, Leflore, Juzan, and 
others, did not swerve from their fidelity to the 
whites, and remained firm in their adhesion to the 
Federal Government. It is true, that on one or two 
occasions, during the troubled times of the fall of 
1813, many persons believed that the Choctaws 
would join the Creeks, and, in consequence, one or 
more great panics occurred; but subsequent events 
proved that these panics and apprehensions of the 
frontier people were altogether groundless and 

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The Choctaw people, at this time, as subsequently* 
were living in three districts or fires, (ulhti)j each 
district governed by its own Mingo. The south- 
eastern district was governed by Pushmataha, the 
western by Puckshenubbee, and the northeastern by 
Moshulitubbee. These Mingoes were independent 
of each other and sovereign in their respective dis- 
tricts, and only acted in concert in national affairs, 
when the whole nation assembled in council to decide 
on questions of peace and war. In each district there 
were thirty subordinate Mingoes or captains, who 
managed and directed the local affairs of their 
respective towns or beats. 

In the early part of August, witk a view of ascer- 
taining the precise attitude of the Choctaws with 
regard to the war, General Claiborne despatched 
Major Ballenger to the Choctaw nation. Ballenger 
had an interview with Pushmataha, on the fifteenth, 
at Pierre J uzan's either at Coosha or Chunky, but 
unfortunately died there thiee days afterwards. 
What effect or influence this visit had on the mind 
of the Choctaw Mingo, we have no information. 
But it is certain that Pushmataha, who was the most 
enlightened and influential of all the Choctaw 
Mingoes, was desirous that the Choctaw people 
should take an open and active stand on the side of 
the Federal Government. With this object in view, 
early in September, he rode to St. Stephens and 
proposed to Captain Ceorge S. Gaines to raise sever- 
al companies of Choctaws for the American army. 
Gaines was greatly pleased with the proposition, 
and accompanied by the chief, he hastened to Mo- 
bile and laid the matter before General Flournoy; 

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but the General, from some cause, declined to re- 
ceive the Choctaws as United States troops. Deeply 
mortified at the result, Gaines and Pushmataha re- 
turned to St. Stephens. Just as they arrived into 
the town, and were surrounded by the citizens, who 
were giving vent to their indignation against Flour- 
noy for his folly, a courier was seen in the distance 
riding rapidly towards them. The rider bore a mes- 
sage from General Flournoy, who had reconsidered 
the matter, and now authorized Gaines to go into 
the nation and raise troops. The people forthwith 
shouted and rejoiced greatly. All apprehensions of 
Choctaw hostility were now removed, and it was 
believed that through the influence of Pushmataha, 
the Choctaws would actually assist the Americans 
in the war against the Creeks. 

Pickett writes : "In company with Colonel Flood 
Mrs. Grew and the Chief, Gaines departed immed- 
iately for the Choctaw country, with no other 
provisions than some jerked beef. Colonel John. 
McKee, agent of the Chickasaws, met them at 
Pitchlyn's house, situated at the confluence of 
Oktibbeha and Tombigbee, where they held a con- 
sultation, while Pushmataha went home to assemble 
his people in council. Having transacted his 
business, Gaines left Pitchlyn's and in a few days 
reached the council ground, where over five thou- 
sand Choctaws were encamped. Pushmataha 
harangued them in a long speech, full of eloquence 
and ingenuity, in which, [as interpreted], he said 
among other things : i Yoxx know Tecumseh. He is 
a bad man. He came through our nation, but he 
did not turn our heads. He went among the 

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Muscogees, and got many of them to join him. You 
know the Tensaw people. They were our friends. 
They played ball with us. They sheltered and fed us, 
whenever we went to Pensacola. Where are they now? 
-Their bodies rot at Sam Mims' place. The people at St. 
Stephens are also oar friends. The Muscogees in- 
tend to kill them too. They want soldiers to de- 
fend them. (He here drew out his sword and flour- 
ishing it, added:) 'You can all do as you please. You 
are all free men. I dictate to none of you. But I 
shall join the St. Stephens people. If you have a 
mind to follow me, I will lead you to glory and to 
victory. 1 A warrior rose up, slapped his hand upon 
his breast, and said: 'I am a man! I am a man! I 
will follow you.' All of them now slapped their 
breasts, a general shout went up, and Gaines was 
filled with joy at the result." 

We supplement the above narrative of Pickett's 
with a few facts gleaned from Choctaw tradition. 
The tradition of the old Choctaws is that this council 
took place in Neshoba County, at Kooncheto village, 
situated about a mile and a half west of Yazoo Old 
Town. This place was selected as being the most 
central point of rendezvous for the warriors of the 
nation. Puckshenubbee and Pushmataha were pres- 
ent, but Moshulitubbee, from some cause, failed to 
attend. Pushmataha, Puckshemebbee, and a sub- 
chief, named Tapenahoma, all made speeches favor- 
ing a military alliance with the Americans against 
the Creeks. At the close of Pushmataha's speech, a 
number of warriors arose, slapped their breasts, and 
exclaimed: "Nakni sia hokat! Chi iakaiyat ia 
lashkel" "I am a man! I will go and follow you!" 

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The troops raised by Pushmataha, who was com- 
missioned as Lieutenant Colonel, consisted of four 
companies, the entire force,inclusive of the chief and 
the other commissioned officers, being one hundred 
and thirty-five men. The commissioned officers of 
the first company were Mingo Hopaii, (Prophet 
Chief), Captain, and Tapena ishtaya (Rod-carrier), 
First Lieutenant, with fifty-one non-commissioned 
officers and privates. The second company, com- 
manded by Slim King, First Lieutenant, with Nuk- 
pallichabi (the one who entices and kills) as Second 
Lieutenant, had twenty-two non-commissioned offi- 
cers and privates. The third company, Edmond 
Folsom, Captain, Red Fort, First Lieutenant, Chuk- 
kaba (House above), Second Lieutenant, Okchaya 
homma(Red Life), Third Lieutenant, had forty non- 
commissioned officers and privates. The fourth com- 
pany, commanded by Captain Thluko, who bore the 
rank of First Lieutenant, was composed of twelve 
non-commissioned officers and privates.* 

With this force, Pushmataha reported to General 
Claiborne, at St. Stephens, perhaps, early in Octo- 
.ber. He was treated with great distinction by the 
general and his officers, and soon became a favorit e 
with all. During his entire connection with the 
army, a social grade corresponding to his rank was 
accorded to the Choctaw chief on all public, social, 
or official occasions. Whenever an officer gave a 
dining, Pushmataha was always an invited guest. 
The Mingo, on the other hand, was very careful not 

* The Continental sound must be given to the vowels in the 
above Choctaw names, including that of Pushmataha, and the 
accent must be placed on the penult. H. S. H. 

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to compromise his dignity as a great man and a war* 
rior. He would only associate with officers of 
higher grade, from captain upward. If a private, a 
non-commissioned officer, or even a commissioned 
officer of lower grade should accost him and attempt 
to enter into conversation with him, he would wave 
him aside with great dignity, saying in his imperfect 
English : " I no talk with little Mingo; I talk with 
big Mingo." 

A story is related that a short time after the fall 
of Fort Mims — perhaps the time when he was tend- 
ering thq services of his warriors to General Flour- 
noy — Pushmataha visited General Claiborne's camp. 
When he approached the general's tent, he was re- 
ceived by the lieutenant on guard, who invited him 
to drink with him. Pushmataha answered only 
by a look of scorn. He recognized no officer with 
one epaulette. When the general came in, the red 
warrior shook him by the hand, and said, proudly, 
as to an equal, "Chief , I will drink with you." 

Some of the officers at St. Stephens were mar- 
ried men, and had their families with them. During 
pleasant weather, these officers were in the habit of 
taking an evening promenade with their wives. 
Pushmataha noticed this custom of his brother white 
officers, and not to be outdone he sent for his own 
wife from the nation. Upon her arrival, every 
evening when the officers and their wives engaged in 
their usual walk, Pushmataha and his homely spouse 
— she was not considered a handsome woman— * 
arm in arm, would iniitate their example. This act 
afforded much merriment to the officers, and especi- 
ally to the ladies; but they were very careful to 

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suppress their mirth when within earshot of the 

Although these little incidents seemed amusing to 
General Claiborne's officers, they had, nevertheless, 
a high regard for Pushmataha, and considered his 
warriors good allies. The Choctaw Mingo was a 
rigid disciplinarian. He seemed to realize that to 
make his warriors efficient troops, they must, to a 
great extent, conform to the requirements of the 
military service of the white man, and the wild in- 
dependence of the Indian warrior must be restrained. 
He accordingly exacted from his men implicit obe- 
dience to his orders 

The agent of the Chickasaws, Colonel John 
MqKee, mentioned above, was in Nashville, when a 
messenger arrived from Captain Gaines bearing let- 
ters to Governor Blount and General Jackson, giving 
an account of the massacre of Fort Mims. This 
must have been about the twelfth of September. 
General Jackson at once directed Colonel McKee to 
return immediately to the Indian country and "get 
out" as many Choctaw and Chicasaw warriors as 
practicable, and then march against the Creek town, 
situated at the Falls of the BlaCk Warrior, under 
the rule of the chieftain, Oseeochee Emathla. Colonel 
McKee reached Pitchlyn's the very same day that 
Gaines and his party arrived there. The Colonel 
had no difficulty with the aid of Major Pitchlyn, in 
raising as many warriors as he desired for the expe- 
dition, and began his march & few days after his 
arrival. When he reached the Falls he found that 
Oseeochee Emathla and his people had made their 
escape and there -was nothing left for the Choctaw 

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and Chickasaw warriors to do but to burn the de- 
serted cabins and return home. According to Pick- 
ett, when the returning warriors reached Pitchlyn's, 
they separated, one party going to their homes and 
the other party going to St. Stephens to join Clai- 
borne's army 

The union of the Choctaws and the Chickasaws 
w with the whites was now secured and thus was 
gained a great point for the protection of the Missis- 
sippi Territory. And to Captain Gaines and Col- 
onel McKee must be accorded the chief honor of 
bringing the warriors of these tribes into the mili- 
tary service of the United States during the Creek 
War of 1813. 


The materials for the above chapter are drawn 
from Pickett's History of Alabama, the Alabama 
Historical Eeporter of May, 1884, Claiborne's life of 
Sam Dale, the records of the Department of the In- 
terior, Choctaw traditions, and conversations, in 
1877, with the venerable Captain S. P. Doss, of 
Pickensville, Alabama, who, in early life, was an 
intimate friend of Pushmataha. H. S. H. 

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"A steed comes at morning; no rider is there; 
But its bridle is red with the sign of despair." 

—Locktil'* Warning. 

IT is not certain when the events bearing this name 
* took place. An intelligent citizen of Clarke 
county says, before Fort Easeley was evacuated. 
Pickett says early in October. The inmates of Fort 
Easeley and of Turner's Fort came for greater 
security to Fort St. Stephens, probably early in 
September, and from this- neighborhood Colonel 
William McGrew, with some twenty-five mounted 
men, had gone up the river, into the Wood's Bluff 
neighborhood, to look after the Indians who among 
the various tenantless and exposed plantations were 
committing depredations. Before this small band 
of horsemen had reached a little stream called Bashi, 
that flows into the Tombigbee a mile or two north 
of Wood's Bluff, they suddenly found themselves 
among concealed Creek warriors. They were 
ambushed. A turkey tail was raised above a log by 
one of the concealed Indians, and this was the signal 
for attack. The Indians who had guns instantly 
fired from their places of concealment and the white 
leader, who had taken part in the Burnt Corn en- 
gagement, fell from his horse. Edmund Miles was 

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also killed, and Jesse Griffin severely wounded. 
Colonel McGrew's men returned the fire of the 
Indians, but without much effect. The Indians 
from their places of ambush had largely the advan- 
tage of the mounted men, and these found it needful 
to make good their retreat. Besides the commanding 
officer three of the men were missing, Edmund Miles, 
Jesse Griffin, and David Griffin. These two Griffins 
were twins. One of them on the morning of that 
fatal day seemed to expect some calamity, and they 
agreed to stand by each other, the one not to leave 
the other in case of danger. They came into the world 
together,and they proposed,if need should be,to stand 
or fall side by side, and go out of the world together. 
According to the best information Jesse Griffin 
was shot through the thigh and, being unable to 
retreat with the others, his brother David, according 
to their agreement, staid by him while life remained. 
It is one tradition that the two kept up a fire upon 
the Indians, as fast as they could load their guns, 
until seven of the Indians were killed; but, however 
that may be, it is very sure that among the few 
whites and the Indians slain the body of David 
Griffin was not found. His son, William Griffin, 
born at Wood's Bluff in 1812, and at this time with 
his mother either in Fort Easeley or at St. Stephens, 
a resident at Bashi in 1879, states, as the account 
that was given to him, that the last sight which his 
comrades had of his father, as the Indians were still 
firing upon them in their retreat, showed him in the 
act of loading his gun, himself then with a broken 
limb, but resolute in appearance, as determined to 
fight to the last moment of his life. William Griffin 

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was informed by those who had a "right to know that 
the body of his father was surely never found. All 
that was found as a trace of him on that skirmish 
field was the breech of his gun. The barrel was not 
there. His body, like the body or person of the 
young Kimbell boy, disappeared, how, none of his 
friends ever knew. 

Colonel McGrew's horse, like the dark gray 
charger of Mamilius in Macaulay's Lays of Ancient 
Rome, started for his home. 

Says Alexander Carleton, Esq., of Clarke county, 
" On the next morning after the battle, the Colonel's 
horse was at St. Stephens, thirty miles distant, with 
signs of blood on the saddle, and only one pistol in 
his holster," 

Some days afterwards, General Claiborne crossed 
the river from St. Stephens, and advanced into this 
Wood's Bluff and Bashi region. The bodies of 
Colonel McGrew, of Edmund Miles, and of Jesse 
Griffin were found and were buried with military 
honors. These men fell " about five miles east of 
Wood's Bluff, near the present Linden and Coffee- 
ville road, and about a half mile south-west of the 
Bashi bridge."* 

General Claiborne spent a few days scouring this 
wild region. He found some Indians. Several of 
his men were wounded in the skirmish engagements. 
Among those severely wounded was Captain William 
Bradberry, another of those officers who had fought 
at Burnt Corn. Says Hon. E. S. Thornton of West 

* One frosty morning I passed this spot alone on horseback 
and the road was lonely enough then for Indians to have easily 
ambushed a traveller. A "frail memorial" had* been erected 
there, but it was decayed and no longer of use. T. H. B. 

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Bend, he was shot "about two miles above the Lewis 
Mitchell place, and five miles above West Bend, on 
the old Coffeeville and Wood's Bluff river road." His 
wound proved to be fatal. 

Claiborne and his men returned to Jackson below 
St. Stephens, on the east side of the river, then com- 
monly called Pine Level, and there for a time they 
camped, hoping to receive orders or permission from 
General Flournoy to cross the Alabama and proceed 
into the Creek country. 

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Daring September and October, 1813, many 
depredations were committed by small parties of 
Indians in the Fork, and occasionally some of the 
settlers were killed. About the last of Octo- 
ber, one of Carson's men, named Beard, was killed 
near Fort Madison. The circumstances of his death, 
as detailed to the writer several years ago by the 
He v. Josiah Allen and his brother Henry, both of 
whom knew Beard well, were as follows : Early one 
morning, two wagons, one driven by Jim Dale, the 
other by Malachi Sharbrough, with a detail of sol- 
diers, were sent a mile or so above Fort Madison to 
get a supply of corn for the garrison. Not long 
after their departure, Beard, who was on the sick 
list and temporarily boarding with the family of 
Micajah Benge, borrowed the latter's horse, and 
equipped with sabre and holster pistols, left the fort 
and started out to Benge's farm to get a supply of 
potatoes and collards. A short distance from the 
fort, he met one of the soldiers of the detail, who 
had received permission to return to get more car- 
tridges, as he found out that he had only a few in 
his cartridge box. Benge's collard and potato patch, 
comprising about two acres, was situated on the 
ridge, about half a mile north of the fort. At the 

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southwest corner of the patch, there had stood three 
large pines. As these trees shaded the patch too 
much, Benge cut them down. They had fallen 
down the western slope of the ridge, their trunks 
tying parallel and their tops interlocking. The 
road leading northward from the fort — the road 
which the soldiers and the wagon had taken — 
had once run along the western string of the fence, 
but on account of the fallen trees at this point, it had 
been turned somewhat to the left, passing along by 
the tree tops and entering the original road near 
the northwest corner of the patch. Five Creek 
warriors, bent upon some hostile deed, had secreted 
themselves in these tree tops. As the wagons came 
along they saw that there were too many soldiers to 
venture an attack, so they lay close. After awhile, 
when the wagons had disappeared from sight, Beard 
came up. He rode along by the pine stumps, in the 
original road, between the Indians and the fence. 
He dismounted near the northwest corner of the 
patch, tied his horse by the reins to the fence, then 
climbed over and began to cut some col- 
lards. He had retained his sword, but left his pis- 
tols in the holsters. Meanwhile, the soldier, whom 
Beard had met, having replenished his cartridge- 
box, was hastening back on the road to overtake 
the wagons. The soldier had arrived within about 
two hundred yards of the patch, when he saw two 
Indians spring out of the tree tops, run and leap 
over the fence, and with a loud war-whoop rush 
towards Beard. Beard dropped his collards, and 
ran to the eastern string of the fence, which he 
crossed, with the warriors close at his heels. He 

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then ran along the string of the fence to the south- 
east corner, and there took a hog trail which led out 
into the main road near where the soldier stood, for 
the latter had halted on seeing the Indians. The 
soldier threw his musket to his shoulder, but feared 
to fire lest he might kill Beard, who was just in front 
of the Indians, and on a line with them. At last 
Beard came to where the trail ran somewhat to the 
right, in the midst of some postoak runners. Here 
the Indians shot him down, crushed his skull with 
light wood knots, scalped him, tookhis sword and then 
ran away at full speed towards the east. All this 
occurred in the space of a few minutes, and within 
two hundred yards of the soldier, who afterwards said 
that the postoak runners were so thick at the spot 
where Beard was killed that he could not see the In- 
dians, and they were out of sight before he could get 
a good aim at them. Just after Beard was killed 
the soldier said that he saw the three other Indians 
spring from their lair in the tree tops, and flee at 
great speed across the potato patch in the same 
direction taken by their comrades. Lieutenant 
Bradberry's company had just left the fort for ^n 
excursion when they heard the firing, and instantly 
wheeling, they came to the place at full gallop, 
David Glass being the first man to reach the spot 
where Beard lay. Soon afterwards the wagons 
with the detail, coming back at full speed, arrived 
on the ground, for they too heard the firing. Brad- 
berry's troopers, after hearing the statement of the 
soldier, made an excursion eastward in search of 
the Creek warriors, but failed to find them. Beard's 
body was placed on one of the wagons, brought 

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back to the fort and there buried. His horse, 
frightened by the Indian war-whoop, had fortunately 
broken loose, and returned to the fort. Beard was 
about thirty-five years old, and was said to have 
come to the Mississippi Territory from Illinois or 

During the occupation of Fort Madison, many 
excursions were made by the citizens and soldiers* 
sometimes, perhaps, merely in quest of adventure, 
and sometimes to gain information in regard to the 
movements of the enemy. The most noted of these 
excursions was one made under the lead of Tandy 
Walker, once government blacksmith at St. Steph- 
ens, recorded, with some slight conflict of statement, 
in both the narratives of Pickett and Meek, but 
more in detail by the latter. This party, consisting 
of Tandy Walker, George Foster, an expert hunter 
and a bold quadroon mulatto named Evans, left Fort 
Madison, early in November, crossed the Alabama 
river, and advanced, says Pickett, to the battle 
ground of Burnt Corn, but Meek, whose statement 
we prefer, says they advanced to the destroyed resi- 
dence of James Cornells, at Burnt Corn Spring. 
We quote Judge Meek's narrative: "When near the 
place, Evans dismounted, and, leaving his horse 
with his companions, stealthily approached to make 
observations. In a field, he saw an Indian, at a 
short distance, digging potatoes. He at once shot 
him, and, after some minutes, not seeing any other 
Indians, he entered the field and took the scalp of 
his victim. Returning to his companions, they ex- 
amined the premises and found, on the opposite side 
of the field, the camp and baggage of a considerable 

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party of Indians who had fled at the sound of Evans' 
gan. With this booty, the three adventurers now 
hastened towards the Alabama. At Sizemore's de- 
serted old place, near the river, they found a field of 
corn, nearly ripe, with plenty of fine grass. Though 
they saw many mocassin tracks and other signs of 
Indians, they determined to stop here to feed their 
horses and to pass the night. They accordingly 
went a short distance into the field, and, as it was a 
cool November evening, kindled a small fire and lay 
down to sleep. In the night, Foster had a strange 
and alarming dream, or ' vision,' as he termed it, 
which awoke him and filled him with apprehension. 
Arousing his comrades and telling his dream, he 
urged them to leave the spot, as he felt they were 
in danger there from the Indians. They made light 
of his fears, and lapsed back into slumber. He, 
however, arose, and going still farther into the field, 
threw himself down in the high grass and went to 
sleep. At the dawn of the day he was aroused by 
a volley of guns fired upon his companions, and 
fled with all haste into a neighboring cane-brake, 
through which he made his way to the river, and 
swimming it, he safely reached the fort. 

After two days, Tandy Walker came in, severely 
wounded, his arm being broken by several balls, 
and his side badly bruised by a ball which struck 
a butcher knife in his belt. It appeared that the 
Indians had waited until the first faint light of day 
to make their attack. They then fired some five or 
six guns and rushed forward with their knives. 
Evans was killed; but Walker, though wounded, 
sprang from the ground and ran through the corn 

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and high grass. Being very swift of foot, he out- 
stripped his pursuers and soon got into the cane- 
brake, where he lay concealed till night, suffering 
greatly from his wounds. Then he proceeded to 
the river, and making a raft of canes, to which he 
hung by his well arm, he swam across. He was so 
feeble from the loss of blood and from pain, that it 
took him all that night and the next day to reach 
Fort Madison." 

Pickett gives the 5th of November as the date 
of this affair on the Alabama. As a slight supple- 
ment to the story, we will state on the authority of 
one of Walker's old friends, that after he had taken 
refuge in the cane-brake, the Creeks searched for 
him a long time, several times they came very near 
his hiding place; but finally, to Walker's great 
relief, a note or signal sounded on a powder charger 
caused them to abandon the search. 

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THE North American Indian has, with good 
reason, when on what is called the war path, 
been dreaded by the white inhabitants of the fron- 
tiers ; for he was cunning, quick, sagacious, often 
merciless. He knew how to come unexpectedly 
upon exposed households, to strike fierce and mur- 
derous blows, and to make good his retreat, taking 
with him scalps and even helpless women and chil- 
dren. But in the earliest settlement of the Atlantic 
coast it was proved that, with all his shrewdness, 
and powers of endurance, and forest bravery, he 
was not, after all, a match, even handed, for the cul- 
tivated* white man. In more ways than one, even in 
meeting them on their own ground, those words 
were proved true, that "the anointed children of 
education have been too powerful for the tribes of 
the ignorant." 

The most noted hand-to-hand conflict between 
white men and Indians, in New England history, is 
the encounter between Captain Miles Standish, with 
three of his Plymouth comrades, and Pecksnot, 
Wetawamat, and two other Indian chiefs, all heads 
of a conspiracy formed to exterminate Weston's col 
ony and then massacre the Pilgrims. Standish had 
gone among the Indians and waited for his opportu- 

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nity. It soon came. The four Indian conspirators 
were " all entrapped in one cabin." The door was 
secured. The four white men were also within, and as 
a witness the friendly Habbamak. •' A terrific death- 
grapple at once ensued. There were no shrieks, no 
cries, no war-whoops. Nothing was heard save the 
fierce panting of the combatants and the dull thud 
of the blows given and returned. Habbamak stood 
quietly by and meddled not. Soon the Englishmen 
were successful ; each slew his opponent," Stand ish 
himself killing Pecksnot, "an Indian of immense 
muscular size and strength," who had said not long 
before to the captain, " You are a great officer but 
a little man ; * * I possess great strength and 
courage."* Here there were four against four, shut 
in by cabin walls. 

The Alabama-River Canoe Fight was a conflict 
where the whites, apparently, had greatly the dis- 
advantage. There were not four against four, nor 
yet, as in the old Latin story of the Horatii and 
Curiatii, three against three, but three against nine. 
The well attested facts are these : (The month is 
November.) Small parties of the hostile Creeks 
were committing depredations among the Alabama- 
River settlements — they were wanting food, were 
foraging, — when Captain Dale obtained permission 
from Colonel Carson, commanding at Fort Madison, 
to drive the Indians at least to the east side of the 
river. He had a force of thirty Mississippi volun- 
teers under Lieutenant Montgomery, and forty 
militia of Clarke county, under Lieutenant 6. W. 
Creagh. With ten more men than, according to 
* Martyn's " Pilgrim Fathers," page 188. 

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Mrs. Hematis, the Cid, the noted Campeador of 

Spain had, when 

"For wild sierras and plains afar, 
He left the lands of his own bivar," 

Captain Dale and his two lieutenants left Fort Mad- 
ison on an expedition which was to enroll at least 
three of their names among our noted Indian fight- 
ers. During the first day's march northward among 
the unoccupied plantations they found no Indians. 
The second day they went in a south-easterly direc- 
tion to the river, crossed it by means of two canoes, 
at French's landing, then called Brazier's, and 
camped on the bank. The night was cool, the men 
thinly clad. The next morning, when the warm sun 
arose, they resumed their march, Jeremiah Austill, 
our " Night Courier," son of Captain Evan Austill, 
having charge of the two canoes, and with six men 
to aid him, commenced to pass up the river abreast 
of Dale and his company who were marching along 
the eastern bank. Soon a canoe load of Indians 
was seen descending the river, but these Indians 
on being discovered paddled immediately back and 
passed from sight in the dense cane at the mouth of 
Bandon's Creek. The men on the bank also met 
with Indians who retreated when the guns of Dale's 
men were fired upon them. One Indian was killed and 
several were wounded. It was soon found difficult to 
proceed further along the eastern bank and orders 
were given to recross to the western side. When 
all had crossed over but twelve men, among them 
Dale, Smith, Austill, Creagh, Elliott, and Brady, 
and while these were preparing a late break- 
fast and roasting sweet potatoes in a little field, an 

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alarm of " Indians!" came from the western bank. 
Leaving their breakfast they siezed their guns and 
reached the river bank. They soon saw descending 
the river " a large canoe containing a chief and ten 
painted warriors." The Indians back of them, on the 
eastern side, who had occasioned the alarm, for some 
reason made no attack on these twelve men, and 
they gave their whole attention to the large approach- 
ing canoe. Soon two cautious warriors sprang out and 
made for the shore. One of them Smith shot. The 
other made good his retreat eastward. The canoe 
man-of-war with the nine warriors continued to de- 
scend the river, and as only one small canoe, with a 
colored man named Caesar in charge, was on the 
eastern shore, Dale ordered the larger canoe to be 
manned and brought over. Eight men started out 
to obey the order,but alarmed,as it appeared, by the 
threatening attitude of the nine warriors in their 
large canoe, these eight returned to the western 
shore. Captain Dale was vexed and proposed to 
his men to attack that canoe load with their own 
little dug-out. Besides Caesar, who paddled, it 
would carry but three, and Dale stepped in followed 
immediately by Smith and Austill, the latter taking 
his position in the prow. Those who have ever at- 
tempted to stand up, or even to sit, in one of these 
little river canoes can appreciate something of the 
disadvantage, on the side of the whites, for three 
men, in such a frail support, to undertake a life or 
death grapple with nine stout Indian warriors in a 
much more stable boat, a canoe, so called, that could 
carry eleven or more men. The expectant Indians 
awaited the attack as their boat floated on, and 

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Caesar, at Dale's command, with the vigorous strokes 
of his paddle, sent the small canoe directly towards 
the large one. 

the"oanoe fight" action opens. 

The three Americans with their guns in their 
hands attempted first to pour in a broadside, but one 
gun only was discharged, and that with little effect, 
the priming having been dampened in the other two. 
Caesar was now ordered to pull up along side, and 
then the real conflict began. It was the twelfth day 
of November, a day to be remembered in Alabama 
Indian border strife, when on the beautiful Alabama 
in that noted river bend, with nine American specta- 
tors on one bank and sixty-one on the other, and 
how many concealed Indians in the dense canes 
none knew — Judge Meek says nearly three hundred — 
this conflict of three against nine was waged. 
Neither Americans nor Indians could help their fel- 
lows. They could only await the issue of this unequal 
encounter. It was a perilous moment as the little canoe 
closed upon the other, with Austill, a young man of 
nineteen in the prow, watching how or where the first 
blow might fall. He was not left in uncertainty 
long, for as the prow of the American canoe touched 
the other, and before he could strike a blow or grap- 
ple with a red warrior, the rifle of the chief who, 
when the canoes were about two feet apart, had 
exclaimed in English words, " Now for it, Big Sam," 
came like lightning heavily down upon his head. 
That the blow did not kill him is strange. Dale and 
Smith sprang instantly to his rescue, and with their 
heavy rifles and strong arms soon dispatched the 

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powerful chief. His words of challenge -were his 
last. Caesar then brought the canoes side by side, 
and so held them during the remainder of the sharp 
but short fight. It was give blows and take in rapid 
succession, Austill having immediately regained his 
feet and his prowess, and doing his part in the fear- 
ful fray. In the thick of this fierce onset he was 
again struck down, now by an Indian war-club, but 
was rescued by Dale, and once more regaining his 
feet he wrenched the war-club from the Indian war- 
rior and with it dashed him into the river. Smith 
performed his full part in the conflict, and soon 
every Indian warrior was slain. Eight dead bodies 
were cast into the flowing waters of the Alabama 
when this " tiger strife was over," and Austill with 
the war-club had already sent one warrior adrift 
upon the river. 


It was difficult at the time, it is impossible and 
needless now, to detail the part performed by each 
of these three heroic men in that conflict. Like the 
old "dauntless three,'' Horatius, Eartius, and Her- 
minius, who kept the bridge so well in the days of 
ancient Rome, these three " border men, true repre- 
sentatives of one variety of American heroism, share 
together the fame of their exploit, as that day they 
stood together in their small boat in the confusion o 
the desperate struggle." That they should all sur- 
vive, and that nine brave Indian warriors, with the 
apparent advantages all on their side, should perish, 
shows again what was exemplified in the days of 
Captain Miles Stand ish, that the American Indian, 

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dreaded though he well may be as a foe, is not a 
match even handed for the bold and hardy pioneer 
white man. 

" Samuel Dale was at this time forty -one years 
of age, was about six feet and two inches in height, 
and weighed one hundred and ninety pounds. He 
possessed a large, muscular frame, and had no super- 
fluous flesh." 

"James Smith was now twenty-five years of 
age, five feet and eight inches in height, very stout 
and finely proportioned, weighing one hundred and 
sixty-five pounds. 

" Jeremiah Austill was nineteen years of age, six 
feet, two and one-fourth inches in height, very 
sinewy, with no surplus flesh, and weighed one hun- 
dred and seventy-five pounds. 

11 Such, physically, were the men who proved their 
superiority," when, to them, fighting seemed to be 
a duty, "oyer red warriors of the brave Creek 
nation, men who, in a hand-to-hand conflict, shared 
the advantages which were needful for ancient 
heroes and for knights in the Middle Ages, of well- 
trained and hardy muscle."* 

Two or three score of such men, springing as 
"boarders" upon the deck of a British man-of-war, 
with or without such a leader as John Paul Jones 
or Commodore Perry, would soon have cleared the 
deck and brought the colors down. 

By means of the captured canoe the nine men 
on the east side, now crossed the river. The men 
all went as far up the river as Cornell's ferry, and 
finding no more Indians, returned that night to 

*•• Clarke County/' page 168. 

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Fort Madison. The canoe fight was ready to go 
into American history along with Perry's victory 
on Lake Champlain gained two months before.* 

Of the three men engaged in this conflict, from 
whose hands one only, of the eleven at first seen in 
the canoe, escaped, some further notice may justly 
be given. Of James Smith but little seems to be 
known. He was born in Georgia, was a pioneer set- 
tler in the river region, is described as a very brave 
and daring man, and is credited with having " con- 
tributed very materially to the success of the canoe 
engagement." He removed to East Mississippi and 
there died. 

Of Samuel Dale, known as Captain Dale and then 
General Dale, abundant material for a life record 
exists. He was evidently a remarkable man. A 
brief abstract of events in his life is all that can here 
be given. Claiborne, with some flowers of rhetoric, 
has written his life very fully. He was born in Vir- 
ginia in 1772. In 1784 his father removed to Georgia 
and occupied a farm near the Creek Indians. In a 
few years his father and mother both died leaving 
to him the care of seven c hildren younger than him- 

*The nearest parallel to the Canoe Fight which I have found 
occurred near the opening of the "Pequod War." John Gallup 
was sailing on the Connecticut "in his little shallop of twenty 
tons/' with one man and two boys, when he discovered John 
Oldham's pinnace oft Block Island, which the Indians had lately 
captured, and fourteen of them were on the deck. Martyn says. 
"Pilgrim Fathers/' "Then one of the most remarkable instances 
of gallantry recorded in the annals of border warfare occurred." 
Gallup steered directly for the pinnace, with afresh wind, struck 
it "stem foremost, nearly upset it," and six frightened Indians 
"jumped overboard and were drowned." He did the same thing 
again, and four more jumped and sank. Four only remained. 
He drowned two of these and two finally escaped. 

Whether the Connecticut River action or the Alabama River 
action displayed the more daring, the reader must judge.— 
T. H. B. 

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self. He became a trader among the Indians, then a 
guide and mover of families to the river settlements. 
Before the " Creek War " he himself removed to the 
Alabama River region. After that war he held 
jffice not a little. In 1816 he was a member of the 
convention to divide the Territory. In 1817 he was 
a member of the Alabama Territorial Assembly. He 
represented Monroe county, which for some time 
extended west of the Alabama to the water-shed, in 
the years 1819, 1820, 1821 ; 1823, 1824; 182S, 1828, 
1829. In 1824 he was a member of the committee 
to escort Gen. La Fayette to Alabama's capital. The 
Alabama Legislature conferred on him the rank of 
brigadier general. In 1830 he was appointed by the 
Secretary of War one of the commissioners to 
remove the Choc taws. In 1831 he removed to Mis- 
sissippi. In 1836 he represented Lauderdale county. 
He died at Daleville, Mississippi, in May, 1841. 
Such were some of the positions held by the man who 
suggested and led the canoe fight. He is repre- 
sented as having declared that in every hour of dan- 
ger he was cheered by a firm trust in God. 

Jeremiah Austill, known as Major Austill in all 
the later years of his life, was also a much more than 
ordinary man. Born in South Carolina in 1794, 
spending several years of his youth among the 
Cherokees, when eighteen years of age he came 
with his father's family into the Mississippi Terri- 
tory. After the Creek war closed he became a clerk 
at St. Stephens, in the store of his uncle, Colonel 
David Files, then Quarter Master for the army. 
After the death of his uncle, in 1820, he became 
Deputy Marshal. He removed to Mobile and was 

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appointed Clerk of the Court of Mobile. He was 
also appointed city weigher. He represented Mobile 
in the state legislature. •In 1824 he commenced 
business as commission merchant. In 1837, in 
that great financial crash, he closed, having then 
four hundred customers, and finding himself in- 
volved in a loss amounting to one hundred and sev- 
enty thousand dollars. He reasoned in regard to 
his customers from his knowledge of Indian charac- 
ter, but he found, to his loss, " that in similar cir- 
cumstances the white man would not deal like an 
Indian." He admired the Indian business charac- 
terestios as he had learned them among the Chero- 
kees. He bought in 1840 the Tombigbee River 
plantation on or near which was located Fort Carney. 
He made his home there, on the upland, among 
the pines, a mile or two from the river, in 1844. 

His marriage was preceded by circumstances 
somewhat romantic. This quotation is from "Clarke 
and Its Surroundings," p. 464. 

" When on that memorable night in 1813, as 
bearer of dispatches to General Claiborne, he entered 
Fort Carney, the gate was opened by John Eades, 
and a daughter of his, a young, dark-eyed maiden — 
she was then eight years of age — glanced at the tall 
youth who took his supper with them, and who was 
so boldly performing a perilous enterprise." — His 
keen eyes must have fallen, at least for a moment, 
upon her bright face — " This maiden afterwards 
attended the academy at St. Stephens, and there as 
a schoolgirl she met the young clerk, who thought to 
himself that one day she would surely become his wife. 
But another maiden came in between them and 

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through a combination of circumstances to her young 
Austili was married. Before many years had passed 
she died and left no child to represent her. Again 
the tall sharer of the honors of the canoe fight met 
with her, whom he had seen in the fort and who as a 
j-chool girl had stolen his first affections, and before 
long they were married. A long and happy, but 
changeful life they have spent together. They 
have had two sons and three daughters." 

In receiving or forming mental impressions 
Major Austili was peculiar. In 1818 he was in New 
York city for his health, having recovered from an 
attack of yellow fever in New Orleans which had 
reduced his weight from one hundred and eighty 
pounds to ninety-six. While in New York he had 
a presentiment that his father was dead. He 
hastened home, making the return trip in twenty- 
three days, which was then considered a speedy 
transit. He found that his father was really dead. 
Again, in 1841, when residing irf. Cottage Hill, near 
Mobile, at three o'clock in the morning a stranger 
appeared to him in vision or dream saying " Dale is 
dead. He died this morning at three o'clock." 
Several days afterward he received a letter from a 
stranger containing these words.* 

After carrying on his plantation for many years 
Major Austili died December 8, 1879, in the eighty- 
sixth year of his age, " possessed of the respect and 
confidence of all the people, and revered for the 
long life of usefulness, honor, and patriotism he had 
lived on the soil of Alabama." 

* I am unable to account for these and similar impressions. 
I was well acquainted with Major Austili. I am sure of his 

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trustworthiness, and I had this account from his own lips in 
1877. T. H. B. 

As that young girl in Fort Carney in 1813 has had a special 
mention, of whose well ordered home in 1854 1 was myself an in- 
mate, it will surely not be unfitting to append here this note. 
The notice that follows was written by that editor friend, Isaac 
Grant, of Grove Hill, and published in his paper June 19. 1890. 
" Mrs. Margaret £. AustilJ, late of Singleton, this county, 
died in Mobile last Saturday, the 14th., in the eighty-sixth year 
of her age. She was the widow of the late Jerry Au still of this 
county , one of the heroes of the celebrated Canoe Fight on the 
Alabama River during the Creek Indian War. She was the 
mother of Ex-Chancellor Austill of Mobile. One by one the 
links connecting the present generation with that of our territory's 
early settlement are being broken. Only a few of them remain." 


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ON the 10th of November, General Flournoy 
wrote to General Claiborne, ordering him to 
proceed to Weatherford's Bluff and there establish a 
depot of provisions for General Jackson, who had 
written that he was more in dread of famine than of 
Indians, and that without a supply he could not 
carry on the campaign. In accordance with this 
order, on the 13th General Claiborne broke up his 
camp at Pine Level and took up the line of march 
across Clarke County towards the Bluff. The troops 
manifested the greatest satisfaction on learning their 
objective point, and were greatly elated by the 
prospect, as they supposed., of an active campaign 
towards Pensacola. On the route, the Choctaw 
Battalion, under Pushmataha, camped for a day 
and night at Fort Madison, where twenty fine new 
rifles were distributed among them. On the 16th, 
the army arrived at the Alabama River, opposite 
Weatherford's Bluff, there camped for the night, 
and the next day, by means of rafts, the entire army 
was landed on the other shore. Here General Clai- 
borne at once began the construction of " a strong 
stockade, two hundred feet square, defended 
by three block houses and a half-moon battery, 

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which commanded the river." In about ten days 
these works were completed, and the place received 
the name of Fort Claiborne in honor of the com- 
mander. The town, where the fort stood, still bears 
his name. 

We here quote from Claiborne's Mississippi a let- 
ter from General Claiborne to Governor Holmes, 
dated the 21st of November, 1813, which gives a 
brief account of the operations at Weatherford's 

" I am now on the east bank of the Alabama, 
thirty-five miles above Mims, and in the best part 
of the enemy's country. From this position we cut 
the savages off from the river, and from their 
growing crops. We likewise render their communi- 
cation with Pensacola more hazardous. Here will 
be deposited for the use of General Jackson, a 
supply of provisions, and I hope I shall be ordered 
to co-operate with him. Colonel Russell of the Third 
U. S. Infantry has been ordered to co-operate with 
the Georgia troops, and is now on his march to this 
place. We have by several excursions alarmed the 
Indians, and the possession of this important posi- 
tion will induce them to retire. I have with me 
Pushmataha, who, with fifty-one warriors, accom- 
panied by Lieutenant Calahan of the volunteers, 
will march this morning and take up a position to 
intercept more effectually the communication of the 
enemy with Pensacola." 

A statement has been made to the writer by two 
contemporaries of the Creek War, that while the 
army was at Weatherford's Bluff, Pushmataha went 
on an excursion with some of his warriors to Burnt 

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Corn Creek. There he discovered a Creek camp, 
upon which he made a night attack and killed 
several of the enemy, whose scalps his warriors 
bore in triumph back to Claiborne's camp. It is 
probable that this excursion may be the very one 
which General Claiborne, in the letter above 
speaks of Pushmataha's making with fifty-one war- 
riors in the direction of Pensacola. 

On the twenty-eighth Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, 
the commander at Mouut Yernon, arrived at Fort 
Claiborne, with the Third Regiment of U. S. In- 
fantry. Agreeably to General Claiborne's desire, 
Colonel Russell had, at last, been ordered to co- 
operate with him. Pickett tells us : u General 
Claiborne wrote [the fifth of December] to General 
Jackson, congratulating him upon his victories, 
giving him an account of the operations in the 
Southern Seat of War, and acquainting him with the 
fact that an abundance of corn and other provisions 
were to be obtained in the neighborhood of Fort 
Claiborne. He also wrote to Governor Blount, ap- 
prising him of the arrival of more English vessels in 
Pensacola, and added that he wished 'to God that he 
was authorized to take that sink of iniquity, the, 
depot of Tories and instigators of disturbances on 
the Southern frontier/ He had, a few days before, 
dispatched Major Kennedy and others to Mobile, to 
learn from Colonel Bowyer the particulars of the 
arrival of the British at Pensacola. They reported, 
giving satisfactory assurances that a large quantity 
of Indian supplies, and many soldiers, had arrived 
there; and in addition, that the Indians were com- 
mitting depredations in Baldwin County, having 

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recently burned down Kennedy's and Byrne's mills. 
Lieutenant Colonel George Henry Nixon had 
succeeded Russell in the command at Mount Vernon. 
At his request, Claiborne permitted him also to man 
Fort Pierce, in the neighborhood of thedisturbances." 
The year 1813 was now drawing to a close, and 
General Claiborne, at last, prevailed upon General 
Flournoy to authorize him to advance with his army 
into the Creek nation. He accordingly resolved 
upon an expedition to Ikana chaka, the Holy 
Ground, situated about one hundred and twenty 
miles above Fort Claiborne. Many of Claiborne's 
officers were opposed to this expedition into the 
heart of the Creek nation. A written memorial or 
remonstrance, signed by these officers, giving their 
objections against the expedition, was placed in 
General Claiborne's hatfds. We reproduce this me- 
morial from Claiborne's Mississippi : 

" The undersigned, volunteer officers, as republi- 
can soldiers devoted to their government, and 
warmly attached to yourself, and disclaiming any 
authority to remonstrate or complain, nevertheless, 
respectfully ask permission to lay their opinions 
before you in relation to the movement into the 
Creek Nation. Considering that winter and the wet 
season have set in ; the untrodden wilderness to be 
traversed ; the impossibility of transporting supplies 
for the want of roads ; that most of our men are 
without winter clothing, shoes or blankets ; that a 
large majority of those ordered to march will be 
entitled to their discharge before the expedition can 
be accomplished ; for these and other considerations, 
we trust that the enterprise may be reconsidered 

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and abandoned, declaring at the same time that be 
your decision what it may, we shall cheerfully obey 
your orders and carry out your plans." Louis Pain- 
boeuf, C. G. Johnson, C. V. Foelkil, Ben Dent, Philip 
A. Engle, E. Jones, A. Wells, James Foster, H. 
Morrison, Captains; Alexander Calvit, Lieutenant 
and Aid-de-Camp ; Ben. F. Harper, Surgeon ; John 
Allen, John Camp, Wm. Morgan, E. Bowman, E. 
C. Anderson, Layson J. Lockridge, Theron Kellog, 
A . L. Osborne, Lieutenants ; George Dougharty, B. 
Blanton, M. Calliham, H, O. Davis, E. Burton, 
Stephen Mayers, James Luckett, Ensigns. 

Notwithstanding the truly forcible objections to 
the expedition presented in this remonstrance, 
General Claiborne adhered to his resolve. From 
Claiborne's Mississippi, we quote the following ex- 
tract from a dispatch of General Claiborne himself, 
published in the Mississippi Republican, relative to 
this memorial : 

" Their objections were stated with the dignity, 
feeling, and respect which these officers had always 
manifested. But these abused, calumniated defend- 
ers of their country, in a situation to try the stout- 
est heart, rose superior to privation and suffering. 
As soon as the order to march was issued, each man 
repaired promptly to his post. Many, whose term 
of service had expired, and who had not received a 
dollar of their arrearages, volunteered for the expe- 
dition, and with cheerful alacrity moved to their sta- 
tions in the line." This includes every officer who 
signed the address. " Yes," continues the General, 
" when they were exposed in these swamps and cane* 
brakes to an inclement winter, without tents, warm 

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clothing, shoes or food ; when every countenance 
exhibited suffering ; when they were nine days with- 
out meat and subsisted chiefly on parched corn, these 
brave men won ah important battle, and endured 
without a murmur the exigencies of the service." 

On the thirteenth of December, the army left 
Fort Claiborne and took up the line of march towards 
the noted Holy Ground of the Creek Nation. The 
force consisted of the Third Regiment of U. S. 
Infantry, commanded by Colonel Russell, Major 
Cassel's Battalion of Cavalry, Major Smoot's Bat- 
talion of Militia, of which Patrick May was adjus- 
tant, and Dale and Heard Captains, the Twelve 
Month Mississippi Territory Volunteers, under 
Colonel Carson, and Pushmataha's Choctaw Bat- 
talion, numbering, according to Pickett, one hundred 
and fifty warriors. The entire army amounted to 
near one thousand men. 

After several days' march in a north-eastern 
direction, the army reached the high lands south of 
Double Swamp, in the present County of Butler. 
Here General Claiborne built a depot, called Fort 
Deposite, where he left his wagons, cannon, baggage, 
and the sick, with one hundred men as a guard. 
On the morning of the twenty-second, the troops 
again took up the line of march through the pathless 
forest, and late in the afternoon made their camp 
within ten miles of the Holy Ground. 

A full description of the Holy Ground of the 
Creeks may, perhaps, be an acceptable digression to 
the reader of these pages. We quote from A. B. 
Meek: u The Holy Ground proper was situated 
along the south bank of the Alabama, between 

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Pintlala and Big Swamp Creeks, in the present 
County of Lowndes. It received its name from 
being the residence of the principal prophets of the 
nation, and having been by them consecrated from 
the intrusion of white men. Wizard circles were 
described around its borders, and the credulous inhab- 
itants were assured that no enemy could tread upon 
its soil without being blasted. It was empathically 
called the c Grave of White Men.' A more fer- 
tile and beautiful tract of country, especially when 
clothed with the vegetation of spring-time, does not 
exist in our State ; and it was thickly populated by 
the aborigines. Near the mouth of Pintlala, stood 
a village of eighty wigwams. The chief town, a 
few miles below, contained two hundred houses ; 
and here the council house of the Alibamo tribe 
was situated." It is with this chief town, to which 
the name, Holy Ground, will be restricted, that the 
main interest of our narrative is concerned. At the 
outbreak of the war man}' of the Indians carried 
their families into this town. After the massacre of 
Fort Mims, it became the headquarters of Weather- 
ford, Hossa Yohola, Josiah Francis, and other chiefs. 
The town was designed by these chiefs, not only as a 
place of refuge for their women and children, but 
as a depot for provisions and military supplies, and 
a point to which those discomfited in battle might 
retreat, — in short, the base of Creek military opera- 
tions. The site of Holy Ground Town is about two 
miles north of the present town of White Hall. Holy 
Ground Creek rises near White Hall and flows north- 
ward to the Alabama River. On nearing the river, 
which here runs nearly west, the creek deflects 

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somewhat to the northeast before emptying into the 
river. Within this horse shoe or peninsula formed 
by the creek and the river stood Holy Ground 
Town. About half a mile above the mouth of the 
creek, and on its west side, is a small spring branch 
emptying into the creek. It is now locally known 
as Sprott's Spring Branch. About midway be- 
tween this spring branch and the mouth of the 
creek, also on its west side, is another spring. This 
latter spring doubtless furnished the main supply of 
water to the people of the Holy Ground. Between 
the two springs is a low hollow emptying into the 
creek, which may have been a small branch in 
primitive days, but now shallow from the washings 
of the cultivated soil. On the western border of 
the Holy Ground are two ravines, each about two 
hundred yards long, and emptying into the Alabama 
River. The course of one ravine is to the north, the 
other to the northwest, and their mouths unite on 
the banks of the river. Meek states that the Holy 
Ground was enclosed with pickets. If so, we con- 
jecture that the pickets must have extended across 
the neck of the land from the lower spring on Holy 
Ground Creek to a point on the river just above the 
two ravines. The enclosed area would embrace 
about fifty acres. In addition to the pickets, a 
long low pile of finely split lightwood was laid, on 
the outside of the town, extending entirely across 
the neck of land. The prophets assured their cred- 
ulous people, that should the white people ever come 
and attempt to make an assault on their town, they 
would fire this consecrated fuel, whereupon every 
white man would at once fall lifeless to the earth. 

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Such was the Greek Holy Ground, and its ignorant 
and fanatical warriors no doubt deemed that its 
sacred precincts would be forever secure from 
the intruding footsteps of an invading foe. 

Notwithstanding all their vaunted professions of 
belief in the impregnability of their town, the 
authorities of the Holy Ground,early on the morning 
of the twenty-third, when they became aware of the 
approach of Claiborne's army, had the good sense to 
take the precaution to convey their women and 
children across the river and lodge them securely in 
the thick forests of what is now known as the Dutch 
Bend of Autauga County. About eleven o'clock, the 
same morning, the army arrived within about two 
miles of the Holy Ground. Here General Claiborne 
ordered a short halt, — we conjecture a few hundred 
yards north or northwest of the present town of 
White Hall — and made his disposition for attack on 
the place. His plan was to surround the town in 
such a manner that the enemy could not escape. He 
divided his troops into three columns. The centre, 
commanded by Colonel Kussell, at the head of which 
was Claiborne himself, consisted of the Third Kegi- 
ment of U. S. Infantry, with Lester's Guards and 
Wells'Dragoons acting as a corps of reserve. The right 
column consisted of the Twelve Months Mississippi 
Territory Volunteers,commanded by Colonel Carson. 
The left was composed of Major Smoot's Battalion 
of Militia and Pushmataha's Battalion of Choctaw 
warriors, both under the command of Major Smoot. 
Colonel Carson was instructed to attack the Creeks 
upon the upper side of thetown,while Major Cassel's 
mounted riflemen were ordered to take a position on 

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the river bank, west of the town, to prevent their 
escape down the river. The plan of battle now 
arranged, the army was put in motion towards the 
town. The central column, after marching a short 
distance, halted for a while so as to give the right 
and left columns time to reach their respective places 
on the upper and lower sides of the town. We 
follow the fortunes of Carson's column. It was 
evidently General Claiborne's instruction or at least 
his desire, that Carson's column should cross Holy 
Ground Creek and march down along its right bank 
so as to strike the upper side of the town. But in 
consequence of an impassable reed-brake, this could 
not be done, and Carson was compelled to march 
down along the left bank. It was a very cold day, 
and for nearly a mile, Carson's men, with great 
difficulty, marched, or rather waded, over a level 
piney woods country, covered with water from six 
inches to two feet deep. Upon emerging from the 
chilly waters to firmer land, the troops heard,issuing 
from the Holy Ground, the loud shouts and yells 
of the Creek warriors and the roll of their war drums, • 
showing that the Indians were advised of their 
approach. Carson's men were the first troops to 
strike the enemy. About mid-day they came within 
sight of the town. A short distance from the town, 
and athwart Carson's line of march, was a branch 
emptying into Holy Ground Creek. At this 
lapse of time, it is impossible to determine whether 
this branch was the Spott's Spring Branch, or the 
hollow beyond, both referred to above. Our opinion 
inclines to the latter. In this branch, and behind a 
large, long log lying parallel with it and on the side 

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towards Carson, was posted a large body of war- 
riors. As Carson's men, now in line of battle, came 
within gun shot, they were suddenly greeted with a 
volley of rifle bullets from the Creek ambuscade and 
the battle began. The soldiers returned the fire and 
pressed steadily forward. Taking advantage of 
every tree and stump, they moved nearer and nearer 
the enemy, who under the lead of "WeaLherford, 
stubbornly held their ground. On the west side of 
the branch, immediately in the rear of the Creek 
gun men, were many warriors equipped 
with bows, who sent an incessant shower 
of arrows towards the American line; but 
the missiles, shot too high, fell mostly harmless in 
Carson's rear. A prophet was seen in the midst of 
the Creek bowmen, frantically rushing to and fro> 
waving a red-dyed cow's tail in each hand and utter 
ing most appalling yells. Sometimes he would rush 
behind a cabin, that stood near by, and then would 
return at full speed, with his never-ceasing wild and 
frenzied gesticulations. Some of the soldiers finally 
making an oblique movement passed around the log 
and gave the Indians a severe enfilading fire, where- 
by several were killed and wounded. At the same 
time some of the whites were wounded. But this 
fire caused the Creeks to retreat across the branch. 
Still from other points, from behind trees, and among 
the fallen timbers, they continued to resist their 
enemies. The battle had now lasted about half an 
hour, when the other troops began to make their 
appearance upon the field. Major Cassels had found 
it impossible to reach the position assigned him on 
the western side of the town, on account of the 

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extensive marsh connecting with Big Swamp, which 
lay in front of his line of march. This unforeseen 
obstacle caused him to fall back on the head of Car- 
son's regiment. The Third regiment, Major Smoot's 
battalion, and Pushmataha's warriors had now taken 
a position in front of the Holy G. ound, and the enemy 
began to give way. About this time, a soldier of 
Carson's command, named Gatlin, resting his musket 
against a tree and taking deliberate aim, stretched 
the prophet lifeless upon the earth, the ball shatter- 
ing his arm and piercing his breast. Colonel Carson 
who had up to this time endeavored to restrain the 
ardor of his men, wishing merely to keep the enemy 
engaged until the town could be completely invested 
from the creek to the river, now saw that this 
object could not be effected; so he shouted to his 
men, "Boys, you seem keen 1 go ahead and drive 
them ! " The eager soldiers took their Colonel at his. 
word and rapidly pressed the retreating foe back 
into the town. The Indians now fled in all direc- 
tions, many casting away their arms. In accordance 
with the laudable custom peculiar to the Creeks, 
they bore off all the wounded warriors that were 
unable to make their escape. Carson's men pursued 
the Indians through the town to a bluff near the 
mouth of Holy Ground Creek. The fugitives here 
crossed, and some fled to the neighboring cane-brake, 
while others crossed the river, some in boats, others, 
by swimming. One of the last retreating warriors 
received a mortal wound and fell upon the very edge 
of the bluff. Here he tossed to and fro for a few- 
moments in mortal agony and then rolled headlong 
down the slope. The mouth of Holy Ground Creek 

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was not the only avenue of escape to the discomfited 
Creek warriors. According to Pickett, hundreds of 
them made their escape, along the Alabama River, by 
the western border of the town. These warriors 
evidently made their escape at this point before the 
close of the battle. 

Weatherford was the last man to retreat from 
the Holy Ground, the defence of which he had con- 
ducted with judgment and courage. We here intro- 
duce from Major J. D. Dreisback's sketch of the 
noted chieftain, the story of his escape and his 
wonderful leap as received by Major Dreisback from 
William Hollinger, a friend of Weatherford's, to 
whom it was related by Weatherford himself. 

*' When Weatherford found that most of his 
warriors had deserted him, he thought of his own 
safety. Finding himself hedged in above and below 
on the river, he determined to cross the Ala- 
bama River. He was mounted on a horse of 
almost matchless strength and fleetness ; he turned 
down a long hollow that led to the bank of the 
river ; on his arrival he found the bluff about twelve 
feet high ; he took in at rapid glarce the situation, 
and determined to make the leap; he rode back 
about thirty paces and turned his horse's head to- 
wards the bluff, and then, with touch of the spur and 
the sharp 'hoya' of his voice, he put the noble animal 
to the top of his speed and dashed over the bluff 
full twenty feet into the flashing waters below, 
which opened its bosom to receive the dauntless 
hero, who sought its sparkling waters as a barrier 
between him and the pursuing foe. He did not lose 
his seat; his horse and the lower part of his own 

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body went entirely under the water, he holding his 
rifle high above his head. The gallant horse struck 
out fcr the opposite shore with his fearless rider 
upon his back. When he had advanced some thiity 
yards from the shore, the balls from the guns of the 
troopers who were above and below him began to 
spatter around him like hail, but it appeared that 
the 'Great Spirit' watched over him, for not a shot 
struck either man or horse. As soon as he reached 
the farther shore he dismounted and took off his 
saddle, and examined his brave and noble horse to 
see if he had been struck; one shot had cut off a 
bunch, or lock of the horse's mane just in front of 
the saddle. Finding his noble 'Arrow' (the horse's 
name) unhurt, he re-saddled him and mounted, and 
sending back a note of defiance, rode off, to fight 
again on other ensanguined fields." 

A digression may here be permitted. A Mr* 
Sprott, a man of great intelligence, was the first 
American settler on Holy Ground Creek. Accord- 
ing to a tradition coming down from him, and still 
current with the people of the vicinity, the ravine 
that runs northwest was the ravine down which 
Weatherford rode when he made his* wonderful 
leap. General Woodward, in his Reminiscences, has 
attempted to cast discredit upon the reality of this 
incident. We quote his language: "Weatherford 
was among the last to quit the place. He made an 
attempt to go down the river — that is, down the 
bank of the river — but found that the soldiers would 
intercept his passage, and he turned up [the stream] 
keeping on the bluff near the river until he reached 
the ravine or little branch that makes into the river 

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above where the town used to be. There was a small 
foot-path that crossed the ravine near the river; he 
carried his horse down that path, and instead of go- 
ing out of the ravine at the usual crossing, he kept 
up it towards its head until he passed the line of the 
whites. So, now you have the bluff-jumping story." 

General Woodward was evidently unfamiliar 
with the topography of the Holy Ground. There 
are only two ravines at the Holy Ground — the two 
already described— both of which are only two hun- 
dred yards long and quite shallow towards their 
heads. Weatherford could not have gone to the 
rear of the American lines by riding up the bottom 
of either of these ravines. And as to "the ravine or 
little branch that makes into the river above where 
the town used to be," — this was Holy Ground 
Creek, which was certainly full of water on the day 
of the battle, as it was a rainy season. Weather- 
ford could not have made his escape by riding or 
leading his horse up the channel of this creek. In 
addition to thisj Carson's men already had possession 
of the mouth of Holy Ground Creek at the time 
when Weatherford was making his escape. These 
facts should be sufficient to show the absurdity of 
General Woodward's position. 

As a rejoinder to General Woodward's unwar- 
rantable skepticism and as evidence corroborating 
Major Dreisback's narrative, we quote from the man- 
uscript notes of the Eev. John Brown of Mississippi: 
" In early life, I was well acquainted with James 
Bankston, who was a member of Cassel's cavalry. 
I have often heard Bankston say that he was of the 
party that pursued Weatherford at the Holy 

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Ground, when he made his horseback leap into the 
Alabama Eiver. And that when he was crossing 
the river, his pursuers fired their guns at him. On 
reaching,the other shore, and thus being beyond 
the range of gunshot, Blankston said that Weather- 
ford dismounted, unsaddled his horse, wrung the 
water out of his blanket and other articles, then 
again resaddling, he mounted and rode off . This was 
Bankston's statement of "Weatherford's exploit, of 
which he was an eyewitness, and I believe that his 
statement is true in every particular." 

The whole army was now in the Holy Ground, 
and the battle was over. It had been fought almost 
exclusively by Carson's men, the remaining troops 
only reaching the field of battle in time to partici- 
pate in the closing scenes. If Major Cassels could 
have reached at the proper time, the place assigned 
him, on the lower side of the town, there is little 
doubt but large numbers of the Creek warriors 
would have been forced to surrender, or else as was 
the case at Tallasseehatchee, to accept the alternative 
of fighting until the last warrior was slain. 

General Clairborne forbade his white soldier's 
pillaging the Holy Ground, but gave all the spoils of 
the place to Pushmataha's warriors. The Choc- 
taws made a complete sack of the town, loading 
themselves with provisions, clothing, blankets, and 
many silver ornaments. Much of this booty — the 
clothing and blankets — is said once to have been the 
property of the illfated inmates of Fort Mims. From 
twelve to fifteen hundred bushels of corn were found, 
a sufficient part of which was appropriated for the use 
of the army, and the remainder destroyed. The most 

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interesting trophy of the Holy Ground was a letter \ i 
found in Weatherford's house, written by Governor 
Manique to the Creek chiefs, congratulating them 
on the victory of Fort Mims. 

During the general search which engaged the at- 
tention of many of the soldiers, John Brown, one of 
Carson's men, entered a cabin, after it had been 
plundered, and a Creek woman, who had strangely 
escaped the notice of the Choctaw pillagers, came 
forth from her hiding place, and by signs, appealed 
to him for mercy and protection. The soldier con- 
ducted her to General Claiborne, who ordered that 
she should be well cared for, and that whenever 
practicable she should be restored to her friends. 

In the middle of the Public Square of the Holy 
Ground, the soldiers took down a tall pine pole, 
standing at an angle of about sixty degrees, on which 
were huug three hundred scalps which the Creeks 
had taken at Fort Mims. They were of every 
description, from the infant to the gray head. 
This ghastly sight, as we may well imagine, filled 
the spectators with emotions of horror and revenge. 

When the Choctaws had secured all their booty, 
Clairborne ordered the place to be burned. As a 
group of soldiers were standing idly gazing on the 
burning town, they saw a cabin door suddenly fly 
open, and a large mulatto negro bounded forth. He 
had scarcely cleared the threshold when a dozen ri- 
fles and muskets blazed forth and the negro fell dead. 
He was supposed to be a runaway slave, who had 
taken refuge among the Creeks, and wishing to 
avoid being captured, had secreted himself, as he 
supposed, safely in this cabin; but the fire drove him 

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from his lair and he sprang forth only to meet the 
quick doom of death. 

The American loss at the Holy Ground was one 
man killed, Ensign Luckett, and twenty wounded. 
This extremely slight loss, considering the bravery 
with which the enemy fought, must doubtless be as- 
cribed to the scarcity of ammunition among the 
Creeks, which compelled many of them to have re- 
course to bows and arrows, the primitive weapons of 
their race. The Creeks had thirty-three killed, of 
whom twenty-one were Indians and twelve negroes, 
for on this occasion the Creeks forced their negro 
slaves to help bear the brunt of battle. The num- 
ber of their wounded is not known, as they suc- 
ceeded in bearing them all off the field. " Among 
the slain of the Indians," writes Dr. Neal Smith, 
41 was found one of the Shawnee prophets, who was 
said to have first raised the disturbance with the 
whites, a singer in the Creek nation; and the leading 
prophet of the Creeks is said to have been mortally 
wounded and dropped a noted gun, which was well 
known." The Shawnee prophet was probably the 
man that was killed by Gatlin. 

The Choctaws scalped all the Creek warriors 
slain at the Holy Ground. But with that contempt 
for the negro, which has always been a noted Choc- 
taw characteristic, they scorned to appropriate the 
scalps of the dead negroes. They simply stripped 
off their wooly scalps and then instantly and dis- 
dainfully cast them aside, considering them trophies 
unfit for Indian warriors. 

It may be well here to state that the Holy 
Ground was the only battle in the terrible Creek 

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war in which negroes bore arms in behalf of their v 
red owners. In all other engagements, Muscogee 
valor alone sustained the tug of war. Kinnie Hadjo, 
a Creek warrior at the Holy Ground, speaking of 
this battle in after years, censured his countrymen 
severely for making use of negroes in this engage- 
ment. He said that the proud and warlike Musco- 
gees on this occasion had compromised the dignity 
of their nation in stooping so low as to call to their 
aid the services of such a servile and degraded race as 
negroes to assist them in fighting the battles of their 
country; that this act, too, was especially exasper- 
ating to the whites and tended to increase the bit- 
terness of their prejudices against the Creeks. 

The army camped, the night following the bat- 
tle, near the ruins of the Holy Ground. The next 
day was devoted to the destruction of the enemies' 
towns, farms, and boats. General Woodward states 
that after the massacre of Fort Mims, many of the 
Creeks returned to a village, situated on a place 
afterwards embraced in Townsend Eobinson's plan- 
tation. This and every other settlement in the Holy 
Ground territory was that day destroyed. A. B. 
Meek relates an incident which must have been a 
part of this day's work: In writing of Major Aus- 
tin, he says that " he, in particular, distinguished 
himself [at the Holy Ground] by crossing the river 
in a canoe, with Pushmataha, the great Choctaw 
chief and six warriors in front of the enemy's fire, 
putting a large party to flight, and capturing a con- 
siderable quantity of baggage and provisions." 

There is a tradition current among some of the 
aged Choctaws of Mississippi, that the day after the 

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battle of the Holy Ground, in some manner,a Greek 
camp was discovered on the west side of the river. 
Pushmataha took some of his warriors in the after- 
noon, crossed over in a boat and approached this 
camp, without being seen. Pushmataha then gave 
the signal to his men by shouting, " Husa ! busa! 
moma abi! moma abi !" " Shoot! shoot! kill all? 
kill all!'' — whereupon his warriors opened fire and 
killed two or three of the enemy. The remainder 
fled. The Choctaws secured the booty of the camp 
and then returned across the river to the army. 
This tradition, no doubt, commemorates the same 
exploit recorded by Judge Meek, but perhaps em- 
bellished with some aboriginal exaggeration. 

The same afternoon of this Choctaw exploit, 
while the cavalry were on their way up the river to 
destroy the town at the mouth of the Pintlala 
Creek, they encountered, not far from the town, 
three Shawnees, who retreated into a reed-brake. 
The troopers surrounded the brake, and, through an 
interpreter, called upon them to surrender, offering 
to spare their lives. But the Shawnees resolutely 
rejected every overture. Both sides then opened 
fire and a fight of two hours ensued. The Shawnees 
would load their guns, come to the edge of the 
brake, deliver their fire, then return to their covert, 
and there reloading, would again return to the post 
of danger. The soldiers at last prevailed, and the 
Shawnees were slain. 

The firing of this slight engagement being heard 
in Claiborne's camp, he marched in that direction 
during the early part of the night and then camped 
on Weatherford's plantation, where the troops passed 

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the remainder of the night, exposed to a cold drench- 
ing rain. A part of the next day, which was Christ- 
mas, was passed in still further laying waste the 
country, after which, there being nothing further to 
be done, the army marched back to Fort Deposite, 
and thence in three or four days to Fart Claiborne. 
Tradition relates that while the army was on its re- 
turn, the artillery men, on several occasions, fired 
off their cannon, supposing that this would strike 
terror into any revengeful party of Creeks, that 
might be dogging their march. 

"On General Claiborne's arrival at Fort Clai- 
borne," writes J. F. H. Claiborne, "Carson's Miss- 
issippi Volunteers and the calvary were mustered out 
of service, and there were only sixty men left, whose 
term would expire in a month. These troops, the 
General complains, had been permitted to serve with- 
out clothing or shoes, and had been disbanded with 
eight months' pay due them! What a commentary 
on the War Department of that day ! What an 
illustration of the patience and patriotism of the vol- 
unteers of Mississippi ! 

The volunteers had served over and above their 
time; had remained from attachment to their 
General, and started on their weary journey for their 
distant homes on the Pearl, theAmite, and the Mis- 
sissippi, without a cent of their pay. Their General 
soon followed, as poor as themselves, and, with a 
constitution broken by exposure, soon died." 

In chronicling the disappearance of Claiborne's 
army from history, it may be but just to add that 
his red allies, under Pushmataha, were likewise mus- 
tered out of service at Fort Claiborne, and at once 

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began their jnarch to their homes beyond the Tom- 
bigbee. They bore upon their scalp poles the tokens 
of Muscogee defeat and disaster, and in every Choc- 
taw village they entered they sang their savage war 
song and danced their exulting scalp-dance over the 
ghastly trophies of the Holy Ground. 

The joy and enthusiasm with which the news of 
the defeat of the Creeks at the Holy Ground was re- 
ceived by the people of the Alabama frontier may be 
realized from the following extracts from a letter, 
dated December 31, 1813, written from St. Stephens 
by Thomas Vaughn and addressed to General Clai- 

"Sir: — Ensign Burton arrived here last night 
about ten o'clock with the pleasing intelligence that 
you gained a complete victory at the Holy Ground. 
I made the communication to Captain Davis, and we 
had the fort illuminated, and gave you three cheers 
at the front gate, and the rear gate, and on grand 
parade, with appropriate music — an air named by 
Captain Davis, 'Claiborne's Victory.' The citizens 
by this time, had discovered the cause of our rejoic- 
ing, and illuminated generally. We then marched 
through the town with music, amid the joyful accla- 
mations of the citizens. On every countenance the 
gleam of joy appeared to beam, and the name of 
Claiborne, his gallant officers and men, resounded 
from one end of the town to the other; and the night 
was passed with a general rejoicing, such as was 
never before experienced at St. Stephens." 

The defeat of the Creeks at the Holy Ground 
practically closed their military career in South Ala- 
bama. Elsewhere, on other fields, against the armies 

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of Floyd and Jackson, and in the Swamps of Florida, 
the straggle was still continued by this heroic race 
of red men with a courage, patience, and patriotism 
that have elicited the wonder and admiration of the 
historians of Mississippi and Alabama. "The 
achievements of the Creeks," writes Claiborne, "rival 
the prodigies of antiquity. " Only a brief outline of 
the story of the remainder of this unparalleled strug- 
gle against the boundless military resources of the 
white man will be recorded in the subsequent pages. 
And now we flatter ourselves that we have fully 
redeemed our promise to our readers in giving them 
a full and exhaustive history of the Creek War in 
South Alabama. 


The authorities used in writing the chapter on 
the Holy Ground campaign are the histories of 
Meek, Pickett, and Claiborne; a letter published in 
Alabama Historical Reporter, July, 1880, written 
January 8th, 1813, to Rev. James Smiley by Dr. 
Neal Smith, giving a short sketch of the battle ; and 
manuscript notes on the Holy Ground by the Rev. 
John Brown, of Lauderdale County, Mississippi, 
giving facts derived from his father, who was a 
soldier in that battle. In addition to these sources 
of information must be mentioned some Choctaw 
traditions received from aged sons of two of Push- 
mataha's warriors. 

In 1894 the writer visited the battle-field of the 
Holy Ground and thoroughly familiarized himself 
with its topography. 

It may not be amiss in these notes to refer to a 
statement in Pickett's History of Alabama, that the 

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Creek prophets had caused many white persons and 
friendly Indians to be burned to death at the Holy 
Ground, and that when General Claiborne's army 
was " almost in sight of the town, Mrs. Sophia 
Durant and several other friendly half-breeds were 
mustered in the square and surrounded by lightwood 
fires designed to consume them." We have no desire 
to cast discredit upon this statement, yet it is singular 
that no contemporary records make mention of this 
matter. No reference is made to it in General 
Claiborne's official report of the battle of the Holy 
Ground, nor in N. H. Claiborne's Notes on the War 
in the South, published in 1819, nor in the letter 
referred to above, of Dr. Neal Smith, who was a 
participant in the battle. We will also add that no 
reference is made to it in the manuscript notes of 
the Rev. John Brown, which are, in reality, the 
recollections of another participant in the battle. 

Some years ago this statement of Pickett's was 
brought to the notice of General Pleasant Porter, of 
the Creek nation, who is well informed on the ancient 
usages of his people. The General utterly disbelieved 
the statement. He said that he never heard a hint 
as to the Creeks' burning prisoners at the stake. He 
said that, on the contrary, such a practice would be 
a direct violation of their superstitious or religious 
beliefs ; that dead bodies were shunned, as among 
the Jews, and that when a person was killed, there 
was a special detail of men to bury the corpse as 
soon as possible, as the spirits of the dead were 
regarded as disquieting or dangerous agents around 
them as long as their bodies remained unburied. 
And they would fear to torture the dying, lest their 
spirits should take revenge on them before their 
bodies could be buried. H. S. H. 

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The following letter was received from Mr. 
W. A. De Bardelaban after this chapter was com- 
pleted. This letter shows how utterly untenable is 
General Woodward's statement in regard to Weath- 
erford's escape at the Holy Ground, H. S. H. 

"White Hall, Jan. 24th, 1895. 
"Mr. H. S. Halbebt: Dear Sir;— Yours of 21st 
at hand. Will state in regard to the Holy Ground 
Creek, that it is now about twenty or thirty feet 
deep in water for at least half a mile up^ tak- 
ing in the crooks in the creek. In my best judg- 
ment it would have been utterly impossible for 
Weatherford to have made his escape that way, as 
the bluffs of the creek do not seem to be any deeper 
now than when I first knew the creek thirty years 
ago. Yours veryrespectfully, 

" W. A. De Baedeulban." 

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The War in the Indian Country. 

THE " Creek War," as waged by the whites 
against the Indians, has been very fully 
treated in those works that give an account of the 
life of General Andrew Jackson. Of these, twelve 
or more are in the Chicago City Library, written by 
Snelling, Eaton, Goodwin, Parton, Stoddard, Jenk- 
ins, Irelan, Waldo, Frost, and others, and some of 
them are very reliable in regard to the battles in the 
Indian country, now North and Central Alabama. 

As on this part of the war such full accounts are 
accessible to general readers, but little more than a 
summary of the principal battles will here be given. 

After the fall of Fort Mims, and that massacre 
was not then regarded as a " philosophic historian," 
(quoting Gibbon), would regard it now — for the real 
facts concerning it were not then made known — the 
feeling among the whites was, Fort Mims must be 
avenged. The tidings went up into Tennessee and 
Andrew Jackson, with Middle and West Tennessee 
volunteers and militia, soon started for the Creek 
country. General Jackson is reported to have said 
in regard to the Creek warriors, " Long shall they 
remember Fort Mims in bitterness and in tears." 

The following is the Creek War paragraph in 
Venable's School History of the United States, one 

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of the best of the school histories which I have ex- 
amined. T. H. B. "In the year 1813, the South 
became the scene of Indian war. The Creeks of 
Alabama and Georgia had in August, attacked Fort 
Mims,situated on the left bank of the Alabama River, 
and massacred nearly four hundred persons of both 
sexes, who had flocked to that stockade for safety. 
The vengeance which followed was swift and bloody. I] 
General Andrew Jackson, the commander of the ex- 
pedition against the Creeks, expressed himself as re- 
solved to exterminate them. A large force of South- 
ern militia, aided by Choctaw and Cherokee allies, 
carried havoc from village to village, and finally,hav- 
ing cooped up about one thousand of the Creeks at 
Horseshoe Bend, on the Tallapoosa Biver, charged 
upon them with such effect as to kill or drown six 
hundred and capture the rest. Nothing was left for 
the remnant of the broken nation but to sue for 
peace." Paragraph 189, page 153. 

It was considered needful also by those in the 
Mississippi Territory and in Georgia that active 
measures should be taken against the Creeks for 
their own self-protection. 

That the facts really warranted the action taken 
may be fairly questioned. It is to be feared that 
the American people, in their treatment of Indians 
will have not a little for which to answer at the bar 
of the enlightened public sentiment of future gener- 

It is a historian's duty to give facts and not to ] 
make pleas; but it may be added here that Colonel 
Hawkins, the Government Agent, residing among 
the Creeks, did not think it certain that the coun- 
sels of the war party would finally prevail. His 
views probably influenced General Flournoy, who, 
under date of August 10, 1813, wrote to General 

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Claiborne, "Your wish to penetrate into the Indiap/ 
country, with a view of commencing the war, does 
not meet my approbation, and I again repeat, our 
operations must be confined to defensive measures." 
Had General Flournoy's policy been strictly carried 
out, had there been no Burnt Corn and a different 
officer at Fort Mims, the probability is great that 
there would have been very little Creek war. Pick- 
ett speaks of Colonel Hawkins as being "strangely 
benighted," but it is by no means certain that he 
was not correct in his forecast of events, for neither 
Colonel Hawkins nor the Indians could have antici- 
pated the Burnt Corn engagement (which seems to 
have precipitated rather than checked the war upon 
the whites), nor the attack on Fort Mims terminat- 
ing so unexpectedly as it did to both Indians and 
whiles, which led to the destructive campaign now 
before us. Brewer says, and his language seems to 
be that of a candid, truthful historian, " The sav- 
ages highly incensed at the attack made on them at 
Burnt Corn, July 27, 1813, resolved to avenge them- 
selves on the Tensaw and Tombigbee settlers." 
Thus he accounts for the attack on Fort Mims. And 
so it was one vengeance after another vengeance. 

But whatever "might have been," the white set- 
tlers bordering on the Creek nation thought it was 
time to strike a heavy blow. They saw strong rea- 
sons for action. Three bodies of troops therefore, 
it may be said four, marched as speedily as possible 
in the circumstances, into the Creek country. One 
was from the river settlements, Mississippi volun- 
teers; one from Georgia; and two from Tennessee. 
The Middle Tennessee troops met at their place of 

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rendezvous October 4th, and on October 7th General 
Jackson joined them at Fayetteville. 

Associated with Jackson was General Coffey, 
and leading the East Tennessee troops was General 
Cocke, and with him General White. General John 
Floyd commanded the Georgians, and General Clai- 
borne the Mississippians. 


1. Tallmsahatckee or Talluschatchie town. 

This battle was fought November 3, 1813, Gen- 
eral Coffee, with nine hundred Tennessee troops, con- 
ducting the attack. From General Jackson's offi- 
cial report. "November 4, 1813. — 

"Governor Blount. — Sir: We have retaliated for 
the destruction of Fort Mims." He reports "186 
dead on the field," and about "80 prisoners," women 
and children. General Coffee says in his report 
made the same day, that u not one of the warriors 
escaped to carry the news, a circumstance unknown 

2. Battle of Talladega, Nov. 9, 1813. 

In this Indian town were friendly Indians be- 
seiged by a force of hostile warriors, the strongest 
fact found to indicate any real war among the Creeks 
themselves. A noted chief had made his way out 
through the besiegers in the disguise of a hog skin 
and requested aid from the Tennessee troops. Gen- 
eral Jackson was now at Ten Islands, on the Coosn. 
which was about thirteen miles above Tallussahat- 
chee Creek. Talladega was about thirty miles below. 
At Ten Islands was built Fort Strother. Jackson 

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himself, with some twelve hundred infantry 
and eight hundred cavalry, marched to the 
relief of the friendly Creeks. The siege was 
raised. Perhaps four hundred of the besiegers were 

Under date of December 18, 1813, at Ten Islands, 
General Jackson wrote to General Olaiborne a long 
letter, given in full in Claiborne's "Mississippi," from 
which the following extracts are taken: "Before this 
reaches you, you will have heard of our battle at 
Talladega. It was fought on the 9th of November, 
and was indeed a severe blow to the enemy." 

"It is impossible to tell, with any precision, the 
loss they sustained. We counted, however, two 
hundred and ninety-nine dead on the field; but this 
is known to fall considerably short of the number 
really killed. Could I have followed up that victory 
immediately, the Creek war, before this, had been 
terminated. But I was compelled by a double 
cause, — the want of supplies and the want of co- 
operation from the East Tennessee troops, to return 
to this place." Near the close of the letter is this 
suggestive statement: "It is not understood by the 
Government that this war is to be confined to mere 
temporary incursions into the enemy's country — such 
movements might distress them, but would produce 
none of those lasting and beneficial effects which 
are designed to be produced. Perhaps, too, there 
are ulterior objects, not yet avowed, which may be 
within the contemplation of Government." 

Before leaving Talladega it may be stated that 
within were one hundred and fifty-four*warriors 
with their families and a thousand hostile Creeks 

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without, around them. But it was no Fort Mims. 
In all, it is said the Creeks had in the field, in the 
war party, three thousand warriors; and in every 
engagement they fought with what the narrators 
call a ''religious frenzy." Perhaps it might as 
appropriately have been called "Spartan valor." 
Weatherford had told the war chiefs, if we accept 
General Woodward's statements, that going to war 
with the whites would prove their ruin; the Chero- 
kee interpretor had warned them that they would 
lose their lands: and now, that the Americans were 
actually at war with them, perhaps they felt that 
the time had come for them to dare, to do, or to 

3. The HiUdbee Massacre. 

This deplorable action took place Nov. 18, 1813. 

A body of volunteers from East Tennessee had 
marched to the seat of war under Major General 
John Cocke. General White, with a thousand men of 
General Cocke's division, marched to Turkey Town 
and there reported to General Jackson that he 
would receive his orders. General Jackson sent him 

"Some of the remarks made by writers on Indian affairs seem 
singular, as though Indians were not expected to share in ordi- 
nary human rights, as though they should tamely submit to what- 
ever the white man exacted. The following is one of these 
remarks. It is needless to name the writer. After saying that 
some of the Creeks were friendly to the whites, he adds: "but 
the main body of the nation fought as if their salvation depended 
on defeating the Americans." One would hardly expect a man 
to use the word salvation, here, in a religious sense, and if it 
means their self-preservation, how else could they be expected 
to fight? They did not wish, as a people, to be wiped off from 
the earth because they were found to be in the way of the white 
settlers, because the whites wanted their hunting grounds. With 
what it called "religious frenzy," with determined resolution, 
was the only way for them to fight. T. H. B. 

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to Fort Strother at Ten Islands. The Hillabee In- 
dians bad opened negotiations with General Jack- 
son for terms of peace, offering to surrender. "While 
these negotiations were pending and the Indians 
were waiting for a favorable answer from Jackson, 
and General White was on his march to Fort 
Strother, he received orders from General Cocke, 
which orders he chose to obey, to attack these Hill- 
abee towns. He fell upon and destroyed the very 
town that had already proposed to surrender to 
General Jackson, the inhabitants of which were 
waiting for the return of their messenger and had 
no thought that they would be attacked by Ten- 
nessee troops. It was a massacre and not a battle. 
"We lost not a drop of blood," General White 
reported to < General Cocke, and Brewer adds "and Fort 
Mims was again avenged." It was a fearful mistake 
made by General Cocke or General White or by 
both — it is putting it too mildly to apply Tennyson's 
expression, "somebody blundered;" and it illustrates 
the danger of having in the same field two com- 
manders, one not co-operating, as Jackson wrote, 
with the other. Pickett says that "Jackson was gen- 
erally considered the commander-in-chief of all the 
troops from Tennessee," and the trusting Hillabees 
could look to no other. The surviving Hillabees 
could not learn that the attack was not made by his 
order; and, as one result, in the succeeding engage- 
ments, they fought with a vindictive fierceness. 
They considered that the attack made on their town, 
in the circumstances, was an outrage, and when they 
fought afterwards blood was shed. 

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4. The Battle of Autossee, Nov. 29, 1813. 

Autosse was on the south bank of the Talla- 
poosa, near the mouth of the Calabee Creek, eighteen 
miles from the Hickory Ground, and twenty miles 
above the junction with the Coosa. 

(The Hickory Ground, named above, was a large 
Indian town, one of the residence places of General 
McGillivray. The noted Tookabatchee was east 
from the Hickory Ground on the Tallapoosa.) Gen- 
eral Floyd, with nine hundred and fifty Georgia 
militia, and four hundred friendly Indians, among 
them the chief Mad Dog, and the friendly Tooka- 
batchees, made the attack on Autossee. The In- 
dians were driven out, about two hundred were 
killed, the town was set on fire, and some four hun- 
dred houses burned, some of them being fine speci- 
mens of Indian architecture.* At the same time, 
or about the same time,Tallassee was also destroyed. 
Little Tallassee, called the "Apple Grove," was on 
the east bank of the Coosa, five miles above the 
Hickory Ground. It was the birth place of McGilli- 
vray. After destroying these towns the Georgia 
troops returned to Fort Mitchell. 

5. Battle of the Holy Ground, Dec. 23, 1813. 

This action, as belonging especially to the 
Mississippi Territory conflicts, has already been 
fully described. 

6. January 22, 1814, about six in the morning, 
near Emuckfau Creek, General Jackson with nine 

*McKenney and Hall, in their large work, call this also a 
massacre rather than a battle, for the Indians, they say, were 
"surprised in their lodges, and killed before they could rally in 
their defense." 

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hundred men and two hundred Cherokees and 
Creeks, marching southward, was attacked by five 
hundred Indians. "The fight lasted all day, both 
sides suffering severely; but the assailants were 
driven off." Jackson determined to return to Fort 

7. January 24, 1814, having reached a Hillabee 
village, Enitachopco, "he was suddenly assailed with 
great vigor by the pursuing red men. After an 
obstinate combat they were repelled, though the 
invading army was at one time in great peril."* 
The Indians said, as their report of these engage- 
ments, "we whipped Captain Jackson and ran him 
to the Coosa River." He certainly fell back; and the 
Americans acknowledged that it was a severe en- 

8. The Calabee Valley Fight, Jan. 27, 1814. 

We return to the Georgia troops. Having his 
force increased to about seventeen hundred men 
and with his four hundred Indians, General Floyd 
moved into the Calabee Valley and when about 
seven miles from the present Tuskegee, "the savages 
suddenly sprang from their lair in the undergrowth 
of the creek and made a furious assault about day- 
light." "A charge soon drove them into the recesses 
of the swamp, with severe loss. But the cautious 
Floyd was effectually checked, and his campaign 
brought to a premature close." Says Brewer, from 
whom these statements are taken, "The practical 
results of the fight were wholly with the brave 

♦Brewer's "Alabama." 

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9. Tohopeka or the Battle of the Horse Shoe, 
March 27, 1814. 

This was the great decisive battle. The place 
was a noted bend in the Tallapoosa River, which 
from its shape took the name of Horse Shoe. Here 
a thousand warriors made their final stand. It was 
fortified in the Indian style. If the breastworks 
were taken it is supposed the warriors expected to 
cross the river and escape. When Jackson looked 
upon this chosen spot with its Muscogee defences, 
he is reported to have said, they have "penned them- 
selves up for slaughter." A flag of truce sent by 
him was fired upon, whether through ignorance or 
design is not known. The Hillabee warriors might 
have been expected to fire upon it. The slaughter 
here, when the action began, was fearful. Not many 
of the thousand escaped. This battle may well be 
placed along side of that destruction that came 
upon the Pequods in New England. Of that, 
Martyn says, "it was not a battle — it was a mas- 
sacre." The well informed reader will note more 
than one point of similarity between the old Pequod 
war and the Creek war. Perhaps the one was as 
needful as the other. The one blotted out a small 
tribe; the other subdued a great people. And 
Brewer says, "And the combined power of the ' 
whites, the Oherokees, Chickasaws, and Choctaws, 
assisted by a large portion of their own people, was 
required to subjugate them; and only then when the 
superior weapons of modern warfare had almost 
annihilated the fighting population." 

The following extracts from General Jackson's 
report are dated March 28, 1814. 


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"Battle Ground, bend of Tallapoosa." Keferring 
to the warriors, "Expecting our approach they had 
gathered in from Oakfuskie, Oakahoga, New 
Yorcau, Hillabees, The Fish Pond, and Eufaulu 
towns, to the number, it is said, of 1,000." 

"Determining to exterminate them I detached 
General Coffee * * * to cross the river,'' 
which was to cut off retreat. 

After describing the action and the little effect 
produced for some time upon the Indian defences, 
having determined at last to take the place," by 
storm," for which order the men were impatient, 
the report proceeds : " The history of warfare, I 
think, furnishes few instances of a more brilliant 

•' The enemy were completely routed." " It is 
believed that not more than twenty have escaped." 

Before leaving Tohopeka perhaps truth and 
justice require that another, a very unpleasant 
record should be made. It concerns, the barbarity 
of some of Jackson's troops. 

Jackson himself, although determining to ex- 
terminate the thousand warriors, made in this war, 
a good record for humanity in caring for the women 
and children and in saving the life of a motherless ' 
Indian infant, when even the Indian mothers 
would give it no nourishment ; but the same can- 
not be said of all of his men. 

Mr. Warren Wilbanks of Noxubee county, 
Mississippi, who died in 1882, ninety years of age, is 
authority for the statement that many of the 
Tennessee soldiers cut long strips of skin from the 
bodies of the dead Indians and with these made 

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bridle reins. Also that when the Horse Shoe village 
was set on fire some of the soldiers noticed a very 
old Indian, a non-combatant, sitting on the ground, 
pounding corn in a mortar, as though unaware of 
the tumult and danger around him, and that a 
Tennessee barbarian, though called a soldier, de- 
liberately shot him dead, assigning as his reason 
for so doing that he might be able to report when 
he went home that he had killed an Indian. 

Mr. Archibald McArthur, an aged man of Win- 
ston county, Mississippi, is authority for this state- 
ment, that in the heat of the fight a lost, bewildered, 
little Indian boy, five or six years of age, came 
among the soldiers, when one of them struck him on 
the head and killed him. with the butt of his musket. 
When reproached by an officer for barbarity in kill- 
ing so young a child, he replied, that the boy would 
have become an Indian some day. An aged man, 
Mr. Evans, of Neshoba county, Mississippi, is 
authority for the statement that the party detailed 
to count the dead warriors found on the battle 
field of Tohopeka, so as to make no mistake in the 
count, cutoff the tip of each dead Indian's nose so 
soon as the count was made. They counted up, says 
Pickett, five hundred and fifty-seven warrior bodies 
found on the field. The Indians take off the scalps. 
These soldiers took off the nose. 

Surely it was not needful, in avenging Fort 
Mims, as it \fras called, that the whites should 
imitate the barbarity of the Creeks. 

It is claimed that the truly brave are nearly 
always humane, but many a sacked city and many a 
war-ravaged region can show that white soldiers may 

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equal in atrocity and barbarity and far exceed in 
licentiousness the North American Indians. 

War at the best is ever terrible, and too many 
whites despise more or less what they call the in- 
ferior races of mankind. "Only, an Indian" is a poor 
excuse for justifying a barbarity. 

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AT Fort Jackson, the old Toulouse, the treaty of f 
peace, by some called " Treaty of Conquest," 
was concluded August 9, 1814. By this treaty there 
was ceded to the United States Government, to 
defray the expenses of the war, — which, of course, 
the vanquished must pay — a large domain west of 
the Coosa; which was, says Brewer, " a very import- 
ant event in the annals of Alabama, for it threw 
open to the whites half the present area of the State." 
But although the treaty was signed " by the lead- 
ing chiefs and warriors," and thus it terminated 
formally the war on the Tallapoosa, which had been 
virtually terminated, March 27th, by that bloody, 
battle on the Horse Shoe Bend; many of the Indians \ 
fled to Pensacola. The British were permitted by the 
Spanish authorities to land some three hundred men 
here August 25, 1814, and the British officers were 
permitted by these same authorities to equip and dis- 
cipline these fugitive Creek warriors that they might 
aid the British in an aggressive movement which 
they planned against Mobile and New Orleans. 
General Jackson went down the Alabama to Mobile, 
reconstructed Fort Bowyer, which was attacked 
September 15th by a sea and land force from Pensa- 

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cola, the land force mainly Indians, the sea force 
the British; but the fort was successf ally defended. 
Then General Jackson, with about four thousand 
men, marched across the strip of country lying 
between the Cut Off of the Alabama and Pensacola 
and captured Pensacola, the 7th of November. Leav- 
ing Major Blue to scour the coast and drive out the 
Indians from the swamps of the Escambia and the 
Choctahatibee, he started back on the 9th of Novem- 
ber for Fort Montgomery — a new fort a mile or two 
north of the destroyed Fort Mims, erected by Colonel 
Thomas H. Benton, who had command there in the 
fall of 1814 — and went down the river to Mobile, 
and on the 21st he left Mobile for New Orleans. 
Major Blue, with a force of one thousand men, suc- 
cessfully accomplished his dangerous work. So that, 
as the year 1815 opened, a year that was to cover 
Jackson with glory at New Orleans, the last fight- 
ing, for that time, with these fierce Creek warriors 
was over. As Brewer, Alabama's later historian, 
says : 

"Thus was ended a war so glorious to the brave 
Musgogees, and yet so fatal! Their formidable 
strength was shorn forever." 

That neither Tohopeka nor the treaty at Tou- 
louse actually ended the Creek War is quite certain. 
Latour says, that the Creek Indians had been de- 
feated and a treaty made, and he gives as its date 
August 10th. But he adds, that a part of the Creeks 
refused to join in it and remained still at war, com- 
mitting depredations on the Alabama, Tombigbee, 



and Mobile Bay, aided and abetted by the Spaniards 
who supplied them with arms and ammunition. 

He says, that General Jackson demanded satis- 
faction from the Spanish, and as this was not fur- 
nished, Jackson took Pensacola. When this was 
done, the war was soon closed. See Latour's 
"Memoirs of the War in West Florida and Louisiana, 

Before the treaty of Fort Jackson was signed, 
Big Warrior, in the name of the friendly chiefs, 
tendered to General Jackson and Colonel Hawkins 
a reservation of land, three miles square for each, 
to be chosen by themselves; and to the two interpre- 
ters, George Mayfield and Alexander Cornells, one 
square mile each. Colonel Hawkins, in a nominal 
acceptance of this gift, spoke of it as not originating 
in any intimation from themselves, but as the 
spontaneous act of the chiefs, as an expression of 
their respect for Jackson and himself. It is need- 
less to say that by this kindly offer General Jackson 
was not enriched. 

Surely some .readers would like to see the text 
of the treaty made with these vanquished Muscogee 
warriors, a treaty to the terms of which they could 
scarcely refuse to agree, yet which they very reluc- 
tantly signed. 

A generous, powerful, civilized government 
should not force a treaty that is unjust upon the 
helpless and unresisting. It may be questioned 

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whether our Government has been accustomed to 
deal as did William Penn and Roger Williams and 
the Pilgrim Fathers, with the American Indians.* 


"Articles of agreement and capitulation made 
August 9, 1814, between Major General Andrew 
Jackson on behalf of the President of the United 
States and the Chiefs of the Creek Nation. 

"Whereas, An unprovoked, inhuman, and sangui- 
nary war, waged by the hostile Creeks* against the 
United States, hath been repelled * * * in con- 
formity with principles of national justice, * * * 
be it remembered that prior to the conquest of that 
part of the Creek nation hostile to the United States, 
num erless aggressions have been committed against 
the peace, the property, and lives of citizens of the 
United States and those of the Creek nation in amity 
with her, at the mouth of Duck River, Fort Mims, 
and elsewhere, etc., etc., wherefore: 

Article 1. The United States demand an equiva- 
lent for all expenses incurred in prosecuting the war 
to its termination by the* cession of all the territory 
belonging to the Creek nation within the territory 
of the United States lying west, south, and south- 

*Of the Pilgrim Fathers it has been well said, "They were 
uniformly gentle and obliging to the savage tribes, and they were 
inrariably and inflexibly just in treatment and in requisition." 

In 1636 a lone Indian trader was murdered and nis goods 
taken by some white men. Three of the murderers were caught, 
tried At Plymouth, found guilty, and hung." 

"It was as certain death Co kill an Indian in the forests of 
America, as to slay a noble in the crowded streets of London." 
"Pilgrim Fathers," pages 371, 872. 

Such justice pleased the Indians well. They respected and 
trusted the Pilgrims. It would not be safe to say that the Puri- 
tans kopt up the kind and just treatment commenced by the Pil- 
grim Fathers. 

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eastwardly of a line to be run and described by per- 
sons duly authorized, etc., * * * beginning at 
a point on the easterly bank of the Coosa River 
where the south boundary lineof the Cherokee nation 
crosses the same, etc., etc. 

" Provided friendly chiefs are entitled to their im- 
provements, land, etc. 

Article 2. The United States guarantee the 
Creek nation all their territory east and north of said 

Abticle 3. The United States demand the Creeks 
to abandon all communication with British or Span- 
ish posts, etc. 

Article 4. The United States demand right to 
establish military posts, roads, and free navigation of 
waters in territory guaranteed the Creeks. 

Article 5. The United States demand a surrender 
of all persons, property, friendly Creeks, and other 
Indians, etc., taken. 

Article 6. The United States demand the cap- 
ture and surrender of all the prophets and instiga- 
tors of the war, whether foreign ornative, who have 
not submitted to the United States, if any shall be 
found in territory guaranteed to the Creeks. 

Article 7. The Creeks being reduced to extreme 
want, etc., the United States,from motives of human- 
ity, will continue to furnish the necessaries of life 
until crops of corn can yield the nation a supply, 
and will establish trading posts. 

Article 8. A permanent peace shall ensue from 
the date of these presents forever between the Creeks 
and the United States, and between the Creeks and 
the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. 

Article 9. If in running the lines east, the set- 
tlement of the Kinnards falls within the boundaries 
of the ceded territory the line shall be run so as to 
leave it out, etc. 

The parties to these presents agree to ratify and 
confirm the preceding articles, and do hereby sol- 

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emnly bind themselves to a faithful performance, 
etc., etc.*. 

The surrender of Weatherford to General Jackson 
has been described very fully by some of the writers 
who have been considered well informed. But from 
what source did they derive their information? The 
sifting process which has been found needful in all 
these Creek war researches leaves here a few quite 
well attested facts. 

Eggleston, who wrote an interesting work called 
The Eed Eagle, a name applied to Weatherford, 
whose Indian name was Hoponika Futsahia, in En- 
glish, according to Woodward, Truth Maker, repre- 
sents Weatherford as having been the great leader 
in the whole Creek war, a kind of general or com- 
mander-in-chief of all the Indian forces. But no 
evidence for anything of this kind has been found. 
There is no evidence of his presence in any conflict, 
only for a short time at Fort Mims and in defending 
the Holy Ground.^: 

It is sure that Weatherford made a voluntary 
surrender of himself to General Jackson; not as 
Waldo says, after exhausting his vocabulary in de- 
scribing his terrible ferocity, then at last "flung him- 
self into the hands of General Jackson and demanded 

* The treaty of Ghent, which declared peace between Great 
Britain and the United States, was signed December 24, 1814; but 
as the treaty of Fort Jackson did not actually terminate the war 
with the Creeks, so neither did this European treaty actually ter- 
minate the •'War of 1812," of which the Greek War became a 
part. Pensacola had first to be captured and New Orleans to be 

JSee Woodward's Reminiscences. 

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his protection:" but coming with no demands, he 
placed his life at the disposal of the conquering gen- 
eral. He requested relief for starving women and 
children and for the deluded Indians who had fol- 
lowed their chiefs and their prophets. In reply to 
the charges of General Jackson, Weatherford 
claimed to be innocent of much that had been 
charged to him; "that he regretted the unfortunate 
destruction of Fort Mims as much " as did Jackson 
himself. "He^aid it was true he was at Fort Mims 
when the attack was made, and it was but a little 
while after the attack was made before the hostile 
Indians seemed inclined to abandon the undertaking; 
that those in the fort, and particularly the half-breeds 
under Dixon Bailey,. poured such a destructive fire 
into their ranks as caused them to back out for a 
short time. At this stage of the fight he advised 
them to draw off entirely. He then left to go some 
miles" away, to look after the negroes of his half 
brother, David Tate. He also said to General Jack- 
son that he joined the war party, for one thing, to 
save bloodshed, and that "but for the mismanage- 
ment of those that had charge of the fort he would 
have succeeded" there. These statements Wood- 
ward says were given to him by General Jackson 
himself. The speech attributed to Weatherford 
lacks sufficient evidence of genuineness to insure its 
credibility. It is out of harmony with the well at- 
tested facts of his actual part in the war. It seems 
evident, and such is Woodward's statement, that 
Jackson formed the opinion that he was a brave, 
fair-minded, truthful man, whom circumstances had 
forced into the war party. Jackson spared his life, 

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gave him such protection as was needful, and his 
plantation life afterward on Little Kiver as a good 
citizen is abundantly attested. 

We learn from the records of the Department 
of the Interior that in February, 1814, a Choctaw 
force of seventy -five warriors, under the command 
of Pushmataha, made an expedition across the Tom- 
bigbee, just below the mouth of the Black Warrior. 
Neither history nor tradition has preserved any 
details of this expedition, the bare fact alone being 
revealed by the records of the Government. 

We here copy the roll of the field and staff of a 
detachment of Choctaw warriors in the service of the 
United States from March the 1st to May the 29th, 
1814: Pushmataha, Lieutenant-Colonel; Humming 
Bird, Lieutenant-Colonel; Louis Leflore, Major; 
John Pitchlyn, jr., First Lieutenant and Quarter- 
master ; Samuel Long, Quartermaster-Sergeant ; 
Middleton Mackey, Extra Interpreter. 

On the 17th of August, 1814, a Choctaw com- 
pany of fifty-three warriors, commanded by Push- 
mataha, with Moshulitubbee as second in command, 
was mustered into the service of the United States. 
This company of Indian warriors formed part of the 
detachment under the command, of Major Uriah 
Blue, and assisted in bringing the Creek War to a 
close. They were mustered out of service at Fort 
Stoddart January 27, 1815. 

The record of the Choctaw warriors during the 
Creek War was, in a high degree, honorable. Their 
nation proved itself a true friend of the American 
Government. Let us hope that posterity will never 
permit the name of their great and patriotic chief* 
tain to pass into oblivion. 



"A historian dare not have a prejudice, but he cannot escape 
a purpose— the purpose, conscious or unconscious, of unfolding 
the purpose which lies behind the facts which he narrates." 

IT was stated in the "Introduction" that the 
authors of this work proposed to do justice to 
the Indians and justice to the whites; which meant 
that they proposed and expected to state the facts, 
if they could reach them, concerning both the 
Indians and the whites, fairly, truly; without color- 
ing; without unduly extenuating the blunders or the 
wrongs committed on either side; allowing only the 
ordinary and just feelings of a true humanity to 
influence them in any sympathy or feeling for the 
Indians, in any sympathy or feeling for the white 
settlers; holding themselves as impartial and friends 
to all, while following the white thread of truth, 
whether it should lead into the crowded stockade, 
or was found at the red man's camp fire. All this, 
and it is much, they hope the readers will feel that 
they have accomplished with fair success. There is 
another line, another thread, the golden thread of an 
even-handed justice, which they would like to trace 
by giving a brief summing up or review of this 
border war. Of course every reader of mature 
judgment will do this for himself, but as we both 
have had many years of experience in life and are 

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no longer young, perhaps even such a reader would 
not object to take a look for a moment through our 

There are certainly some well established facts. 

There had been some aggressions committed by 
the Creek Indians. The treaty preamble calls them 
"numberless." A figure of speech, of course. 

A part of the Creek confederacy proposed to 
make war upon the white settlers, perhaps hoping 
even to exterminate them. 

Some of the war party went to Pensacola to 
obtain war supplies. They were quietly returning. 
And here comes in the first real action of the war, 
the Burnt Corn attack. Woodward declares that 
the Indian leader, "Jim Boy, said that the war had 
not fairly broke out, and that they never thought of 
being attacked." It was like saying, if they had 
been civilized : True, we were getting ready for war, 
but no declaration of war had been yet made on 
either side. As they were not civilized, and as the 
white settlers, not the United States authorities, 
considered it best to get the start of the Indians, they 
marched across their frontier line and issued their 
declaration of war in the first discharge of their 
muskets and rifles at Burnt Corn. The whites com- 
menced the actual, the open war. 

The next action, the first on the part of the 
Indians, but not the first of the war, was at Fort 
Mims. Brewer has surely stated the case fairly, 
when he says, (see Brewer's Alabama, p. 194), " A 
skirmish on Burnt Corn Creek, eight miles below 
Belleville, in this county, between the whites and 
Muscogees, July 27, 1813, was the commencement 


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of the great Indian war." After briefly detailing 
the action, he says that the Indians were greatly elated 
by their success"; but he adds: " Inspired by 
revenge, a month later they fell upon Fort Mims." 

And if the facts teach anything there they 
surely show that the Indians, as being Indians, 
could do nothing less than take the fort and butcher 
the inmates: nothing less, when the commanding 
officer, on Claiborne's own testimony, "held the. 
Indians in contempt," "and as a taunt and derision 
to the timid," (those cautious backwoodsmen, prob- 
ably, who warned him of danger, those truly brave 
Baileys and others who wanted to be prepared to 
protect human life), "had the main gate thrown 
open." The Indians could do nothing less, without 
ceasing to be Indians, than enter, kill, burn, and 
destroy. * 

Now two questions arise here, in this review, as 
we seek for the golden thread of justice. The first 
is, passing over what bloodshed there was in Clarke 
county, why did not Weatherford with his victo- 
rious thousand, if indeed they yet, as Pickett express- 
ed it, "thirsted for American blood," pass over the 
Alabama and fall upon the stockades of the real, 
aggressive white settlers, who had put their cattle 
and put themselves on the Alibamo hunting 
grounds? Why? Perhaps there were prudential 
reasons. It was not so easy for the Indians to 
take food along for a campaign of many days. It 
was not so easy for a thousand men to cross the 
Alabama in a body, and then to re-cross it 'in haste 
if they should need to retreat. And there were 
soldiers at Mount Vernon whom they probably did 

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not care to meet. But perhaps there were stronger 
reasons. They had learned something of the exact- 
ion of justice by the whites in the Meredith and 
Lott and Duck River tragedies; and now that they 
had, beyond their own expectation, contrary to the 
wish certainly of some of them, in one single day swept 
off five hundred who could be classed, mostly, as 
Americans,they were,perhaps,startled, as they looked 
forward to the results. As the chiefs, the leaders, 
those who knew the Americans best, looked back 
upon Fort Mims, it seems probable they did not 
wish any further to incur the vengeance of the 
whites, they scarcely wished themselves to engage 
in such another butchery. 

Reasons of some sort there must have been, 
why Weatherford, if he was what the historians 
claim him to have been, did n6t lead his warriors 
across the Alabama. Is it not more than possible 
that Weatherford, who had joined the war party 
reluctantly, and many others like him, were already 
sick of the strife? 

S. Putnam Waldo, in his memoirs of Andrew 
Jackson, published in 1818, bears down very heavily 
on Weatherford. He says that after the battle of the 
Holy Ground, "Weatherford continued to fight 
with the rage of a fanatic, the fury of a demon, and 
the diabolical ferocity of a devil incarnate, until 
saturated with the blood of Americans." Such was 
not the Alabama Weatherford. He was for a short 
time at Fort Mims ; he defended the Holy Ground 
so long as he could ; and where else did he fight ? 
Weatherford was not thirsting for American blood. 
After August 30th he waited nearly four months, till 

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attacked in his place of fancied security December 
23d, without striking a blow. The other question 
that comes up is this: September having passed 
and October having passed, and no great acts of hos- 
tility having been committed by the war party of 
the Creeks, was it really needful and was it fitting 
that such a destructive campaign, almost to the 
verge of extermination of the war party of the 
nation, should have been visited upon them in 
November and December and January and March ? 
Did the Fort Mims tragedy, provoked surely by the 
Burnt Corn action, justify that fearful retribution ? 
And if, when the circumstances are considered, Fort 
Mims hardly justified the shedding in return of so 
much Creek blood, was it justice to require such an 
amount of land from the Creeks to piy the expen- 
ses, as claimed, of that subjugating war ? Alas ! We 
do not find that golden thread of an even-handed 
justice. And what did Jackson mean in his letter to 
Claiborne by those "ulterior objects" which he thought 
might be "within the contemplation of Govern- 

There were land claims, and conflicting claims 
there had been, in the Mississippi Territory. Georgia 
had claimed, as granted by Charles II, king of Eng- 
land, all the land between the Savannah and the Mis- 
sissippi rivers and between latitude 31° and latitude 
35 9 , and this, so far as Charles was concerned, with- 
out regard to Indian rights. Congress bought, at 
length, the claim of Georgia for one million and a 
quarter of dollars. Was the Government looking 
forward to securing a more full title to some of this 
land? Since the first settlements on the Atlantic 

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coast it has been true that many of the whites have 
always wanted the Indian lands, their hunting 
grounds, even their burial places ; they are wanting 
their very reservations now. Indian wars end in 
the extinction of Indian titles to land, and it may 
well be feared that this is an "ulterior" object 
underlying many of these wars.* 

We reach now,in our review 3 having already implied 
it and looked at it,the fact of the war waged against 
the Creeks, in which the larger part of their three 
thousand hostile warriors seem to have perished. 
And the conclusion reached here is, that the " Creek 
War," as waged by the whites against the Creeks, 
was out of all fair proportion as compared with the 
"Creek War" as waged by the Creeks against the 

Burnt Corn, Tallussahatchee, Talladega, the H ilia- 
bee massacre, Autossee and Talassee, the Holy 
Ground, and Tohopeka, outweigh the few aggressive 
acts committed by the Creeks, before the war 
opened, the blood shed in Clarke, and Fort Mims. 

It was surely not all justice that influenced the 
movements of the armies of Jackson and Claiborne 
and Floyd. Well does Venablecall it " vengeance," 
and that " swift and bloody." 

Well would it be if nations heeded more the 
meaning of the Bible statement: "Vengeance is 
mine ; I will repay, saith the Lord," 

♦Furthermore, the United States, in 1802, had entered Into 
a compact with the State of Georgia to extinguish the Indian 
title iu the bounds of that state so soon as they reasonably could, 
and the Georgians were in a hurry for their share of the Greek 
lands. They, after 1814, so crowded the Government that a 
treaty was made, purchasing lands, which cost the life of Major 
William Mcintosh, and which Congress was obliged to set aside. 

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The remnant of the War Party and the friendly 
Lower Creeks, after the treaty of 1814, still held 
lands which were desired by the states of Georgia 
and Alabama, and in 1832 was ratified the treaty of 
Cusseta, the first article of which states: "The Creek 
tribe of Indians cede to the United States all their 
land east of the Mississippi River." They were not 
obliged to remove by the terms of the treaty, but 
by the crowding in of the whites upon them, and in 
1836 war actually commencing, they were con- 
strained to remove to the west side of the Missis- 
sippi. Here, in a part of what is known as the 
Indian Territory, they have found an abiding place. 
As nearly all of those among the Alabama pioneers 
who had any part in the events of 1813 and 1814 
have passed away, so have the Creek warriors who 
passed over the great Father of Waters passed now, 
all or nearly all, over the viewless river which is to 
the white man and the red man alike the end of strife 
and of earthly sorrow and earthly joy. The de- 
scendants of these Creek warriors have adopted 
largely the civilization and the religion of the 
American white race, and they now have farms and 
mills,and books and papers,and schools and churches. 
It is to be sincerely hbped that the American Govern- 
ment will at length deal with them on the true 
principles of Christian equity, suffering no greedy 
white man to despoil them of their land, and accord- 
ing to them at all times that protection to which they 
are so justly entitled, And those who dwell along 
the bright waters which once were held by the free 
and brave warriors of the great Creek nation, should 
remember that the children of the forest and the 

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wild bad the first and best right to all those beauti- 
ful streams, that the white pioneers have nearly 
always been aggressors upon Indian hunting 
grounds and burial places, and that the least they 
can do is, cherishing no animosity for provoked 
massacres committed in the past, to imitate such 
virtues as the Creek warriors did possess, and to do 
their part as American citizens in having henceforth 
just treatment accorded to all the remaining Ameri- 
can Indians. 

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The Great Mississippi Panic. 



Names from court records. 



High-Head Jim or Jim Boy. 



Death of Pushmataha. • 



Christianity and the Greeks. 



Mrs. Robertson's Letters. Extracts. 



Old St. Stephens. - 



Indian Names. .... 



Indian Border Wars. - - - - 



Population of the Five Indian Nations. 



A card of Thanks. - 



Historical Paper. - 


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The various passions and propensities of human 
nature give rise to singular events, some of them gro- 
tesque, some of them grand, some of them disastrous. 
About 1716 a scheme of wild speculation was started in 
France, which became known as the "Mississippi 
Bubble," after it burst in ruin, deep dnd pitiless, to mul- 
titudes. In the fall of 1813 took place, in Mississippi 
itself, connected with this Indian Greek war, what is called 


It was not a financial panic, but a panic arising 
through fear of Indian atrocities. There lies before me 
now a manuscript copy, fourteen pages of foolscap, of a 
full account of this alarm, written by Colonel John A. 
Watkins, born in Jefferson county, Mississippi, dated, 
New Orleans, April 10, 1890. The style is so pleasing I 
should like to reproduce the account entire, but only 
some statements and a quotation or two can here be 
given. Alluding to the attack upon Fort Mims, of 
which he says, "as it was negligently protected,nearly all 
the inmates * * * were put todeath," — he knew too 
much, evidently to say " strongly garrisoned," — he says: 
" The news of this massacre spread rapidly in Missis- 
sippi. * * * The danger was so threatening that 
Governor Holmes * * * called for volunteers to 
form a battallion of mounted men, to be composed of one 
company from each of the counties of Adams, Wilkin- 
son, Amite, and Jefferson." These soon reported for 
duty " and at once hurried to the seat of war. He says: 
u This was the famous Jefferson Troop, designated at 
the War Department as Dragoons,commanded by Major 
Thomas Hinds, which subsequently became prominent 

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Natchez was the first capital of the Mississippi 
Territory. In 1801, the capital was removed to Wash- 
ington, a village six miles from Natchez. 

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in the Indian war, and at the battle of New Orleans in 
1815. " And now Colonel Watkins comes to the panic. 
" Rumors that an advance had been made by the Greeks, 
and that in their progress they had been joined by the 
Choctaws, began to be whispered around, at first so 
vague that they could be traced to no reliable source, but 
in a few days assuming a form, to which fear gave an 
impulse, that resulted in a panic that I can only attempt 
to describe from the recollections of more than seventy- 
five years ago." He then mentions the preparations 
made to send the women and children to the town of 
Washington, (which the reader will find on this little 
map of the southwestern corner of the Territory), and 
adds: "By the time the non-combatants were ready to 
move, the Indians were said to be at the 
Rocky Springs, eighteen miles above Port Gib- 
son, and the next breeze had wafted them 
to the Grindstone Ford; some farsighted people could 
even see the smoke of Colonel Burnett's house, a dis- 
tance of seven miles. How these vague reports origin- 
ated will never be known. Like the * three black 
crows/ they grew as they proceeded, until the alarm 
became universal. * * * Runners were despatched 
in every direction, warning the inhabitants, and direct- 
ing them to seek safety in flight. " At the door of the 
school house where as "a small boy" he then was, the 
announcement was made that the Indians were upon 
them, and, he says. " we all hurried home to find our 
mothers in tears and tribulation." They were packing 
up for a hasty flight. The families there, he says, 
were rich in " pigs, poultry, and children," and into 
the wagons baggage and children were tumbled "pro- 
miscuously, and without any regard to the comfort of 
the latter; horses received their cargo of live stock, two 
or three being mounted on each ; and now the caval- 
cade is underway — if I may use that term when applied 
to oxen." These drew the wagons. "At the ' Raccoon 
Box' " — a distance of two miles from his home where 
two roads met — "our party was joined by twenty or 
more families, all on their way to headquarters. Carts, 
wagons, children, horses, and dogs, were so promis- 
cuously thrown together that the elderly dames found 

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much difficulty in keeping together their numerous off- 
spring. After much confusion and any amount of loud 
talking, the caravan finally began to move." * * * 
4 * The scene was ludicrous beyond description. Here 
three white haired urchins were pelting an old plow- 
horse into a fast walk; while there, a young mother, 
similarly mounted, was carrying a child in her lap, 
while two others were holding on desperately to avoid a 
fearful tumble; while further on, a rickety old cart, 
drawn by two stalwart oxen, was loaded with beds, * 
boxes and children, thrown together by chance, — the 
latter crying lustily to be released from their vile im- 
prisonment, while the rod was occasionally applied to 
keep them quiet. Being a good walker then, as in later 
years, I avoided the ills to which many of my own age 
fell heir." At length, as this " caravan" was moving 
on, a deputation was sent to Port Gibson to learn the 
facts about the Indians, if possible. This scouting 
party found that place " almost deserted," but one of 
the principal merchants was still there, Mr. B. Smith, 
who " did not believe that there was a shadow of truth 
in the report" about the Indians; and who invited them 
to help themselves to such as he had, "powder and lead" 
and " good old bourbon." I quote one more sentence 
and then mustleave this account. "With their whisky and 
ammunition our party, fully satisfied that there were no 
hostile Indians on this side of the Alabama Siver, took 
leave of Mr. Smith and hurried to overtake their fami- 
lies, and just at sundown came up with them near 
Greenville." All of those from Colonel Watkins neigh- 
borhood turned back; but others continued on till they 
reached Washington, and thus ended with them a 
memorable day. 

Claiborne in his ''Mississippi" says that the Fort 
Mims tragedy "spread consternation through the Terri- 
tory," "that a coalition of the Creeks and Choctaws was 
generally apprehended," and that "the alarm penetrated 
to Baton Rouge, St. Francisville, Natchez, Port Gibson, 
Winchester, and Walnut Hills." He quotes from a 
public record the proceedings of a meeting held at Port 
Gibson, September 18, 1813, of which Colonel Daniel 
Burnett was chairman, at which a committee was 

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appointed, on motion of H. Blennerhassett, to inquire 
into the foundation of the late alarm and to report 
means for defense. The committee reported the alarm 
to have been "groundless and unfounded," but they 
recommended the erection of three stockade forts and 
made other suggestions. Evidently the "Mississippi 
panic" was no trifling affair, although with the whole 
breadth of Mississippi and the friendly Choctaws 
between these settlers in Jefferson, Adams, Wilkinson, 
and Amite counties and the hostile Creeks, there was 
no cause for alarm. But panics are always unreason- 

When obtaining material for the history of Clarke 
county, published in 1882, 1 had free access given me 
to the court records of Washington county, an early 
county in Mississippi Territory, which included what 
was afterwards Clarke; and among thirty-six names 
there found for jurors on the venire facias, "at a superior 
court held for the district of Washington at Mcintosh 
Bluff on the fourth Monday in September," 1802, the 
following I give here as familiar names now, showing 
that they were citizens of the territory then: Tandy 
Walker, Nathan Blackwell, Moses Steadham, Joseph 
Stiggins, John McGrew, and Samuel Mims. On the 
first grand jury were Tandy Walker and Samuel Mims. 
The next term of this court was held in May, 1804, and 
additional names were Thomas Bassett, John F. McGrew, 
John Callier, and James Caller. T. H. B. 


In prosecuting their researches into the history of 
the Creek War of 1813, the writers of this work found 
some difficulty in determining whether the Jim Boy 
who commanded at the battle of Burnt Corn was the 
same man as the Jim Boy who figured in the Florida 
War of 1835. The inference could be drawn from the 
sketch of Jim Boy in McKenny and Hall's large work that 
they were two separate and distinct characters. But the 
authors of that work seem to be strangely benighted or 

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bewildered as to the facts in the early life of Jim Boy. 
To determine the truth of this matter — the identity of 
the Jim Boy of Burnt Corn and the Jim Boy of the 
Florida war — a correspondence was opened with Mrs. A. 
E. W. Robertson, in the Creek nation. The matter was 
brought by her to the especial attention of ex-Governor 
Ward Coachman, Colonel William Robison, and Judge 
N. B. Moore. These highly intelligent Creeks, after 
consulting the oldest men among the Creeks, gave it as 
their deliberate verdict that the Jim Boy of Burnt Corn 
and the Jim Boy of the Florida War was one and the 
same man. That the oldest Creeks had never heard of 
but one Jim Boy, Jim Boy then must have been quite 
a young man in the war of 1813, as he was in active mil- 
itary life in 1835. He died near Wetumka, Creek nation, 
about 1851. The wife of Jim Boy, Ni-het-ho-ye, was 
the aunt of Colonel William Robison . Rev. William 
Jim Boy, a well known Methodist minister in the Creek 
nation, is a grandson. H. S. H. 


As a matter of interest to our readers we publish a 
letter written from Washington by Captain David Fol- 
som to Rev. Cyrus Byington, Mayhew, Choctaw Nation, 
which gives some particulars of the death of Pushmataha. 
The original letter is in the possession of Mrs.C. Robb, 
of the Choctaw Nation. Captain Folsom attended the 
delegation to Washington in the three-fold character of 
delegate, treasurer, and interpreter. Notwithstanding 
his imperfect education — he had attended school only 
six months in his life — Folsom became a great and 
influential man among his people. He w&s chief for 
many years, and was considered one of the first orators 
of his day. He died about 1847, and was buried at 
Doaksville, Indian Territory. His dwelling house in 
Mississippi is still standing, on the Robinson road, in 
Oktibbeha county. Mrs. Robb, mentioned above, Cap- 
tain Folsom's neice,is a prominent Baptist in the Choc- 
taw Nation, the author of a number of Choctaw hymns. 
She edited a Choctaw hymn book. 

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Washington, December 24th, 1824. 
"Dear Friend: — I take up my pen to you inform that 
Chief Pushmataha is no more. He died last night about 
12 o'clock. He has complained almost ever since he has 
been here of a scabby spot in his throat. But when he 
did not drink much strong drink, he felt better. • But 
his drink was great, and I noticed whenever he drank 
too much, he was worse. I finally concluded that he 
would never see home. Two nights before he died, he 
wheezed very much and struggled very much in his 
sleep. But notwithstanding all this, he would expose 
himself in every line of exposure, and finally on the 23d 
instant, about 9 o'clock A. M., he was attacked out on 
the street. He could hardly get his breath. Two doc- 
tors were immediately called, and efforts were made, but 
done no good. He died about 1? o'clock P. M. He had 
every attention and friendship shown him by the citi- 
zens of this place, besides strangers, who here came and 
visited us at this, our great trial moment. I was unable 
to do anything about his burial. However, it was con- 
ducted by others. 

" December 25th. — I am much better to-day, and 
feel quite well. It was agreed that our chief should be 
buried with the honors of war, and several companies 
turned out, as well as the marine of the Navy Yard, and 
two bands of music, and with a great procession, we took 
the body of our departed friend, in presence of several 
thousand people. We marched in company of and in the 
way of these people to the burial ground. He Was laid 
in the grave; he was covered with cold clay, and we left 
him in the midst of many hundred people. 

" I assure you, my dear friend, I am thankful there 
was so rduch honor paid to our departed chief and 
towards us. Many of these Congressmen treated us as 
well as General Jackson. I can truly say, I have and 
we have received every mark of friendship and broth- 
erly love towards us amongst the whites since we have 
been amongst them; more particularly since the death 
of the two chief 8.* 

*In addition to Pushmataha, reference here is made to 
Puckahenubbee, who died on the way to Washington. 

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" I can truly say, as for myself, I feel my love 
towards the American people. Some say it was a croup 
or quinsy that killed Chief Pushmataha. But I am 
induced to believe he was completely burned out by 
hard drinking. I have noticed him particularly, and I 
am fully satisfied to say, it is strong drink has finally 
killed him. I must say, beware of the hard drinkers of 
the Choctaw people. * * * 

" We are still here doing nothing. That is all, have 
done nothing as yet. And I do not know when we will 
start for home. But I think our negotiation will come to 
a close soon. I am sorry to inform you that I cannot be 
useful to the delegation, because they will have their 
own way and will not have an ear for such a poor per- 
son as I am. But I set very independent before them, 
but kind and affectionate towards them. It will be a 
wonder to me if they all get home in safety. Pitchlyn, 
Moshulitubbee, McDonald, and McCurtainare all well, 
but the rest are not very well; but it is all on account of 
their wickedness. I must not write much more. God 
is not for us. But he is against us on account of our 
wickedness. God is just and right in taking those 
chiefs from among the people, so that there may be bet- 
ter men raised up in their places. We have been and 
have done all those things which would justify our 
Maker to cut us all off; and he would be right in saying 
to us wicked delegation of the Choctaw Nation — Why 
should they cumber the ground any longer? I am fear- 
ful that four of our number will never reach home. 
Don't read my letter to everyone. „ 

The 26th: — I am thankful to my Maker that I am 
as usual, and that my health is good, excepting a little 
deafness. I am so much confined and compelled to stay 
with the delegation that I have no chance to become 
acquainted with the great men of this city. The 
clergymen and some of the congressmen I should have 
been glad to become acquainted with them. I hope I 
have done a little good in the cause of schools and the 
Gospel in my Nation by coming here ; which is not con- 
venient to mention here. My best respects to all my 
friends of the mission family. If my life is spared, I 
hope to see them some time in February. 

"From your friend, "David Folsom." 

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After the death of Pushmataha, his nephew, Okla- 
homa, succeeded him in the chieftain's office. But on 
account of his dissipated habits, Oklahoma was soon 
deposed, and another nephew, Nettacarchee, was elected 
Mingo in his stead. Oklahoma died at Coosha, about 

The statement in Claiborne's life of Sam Dale that 
Pushmataha was six feet two inches high, is an error 
into which, in some manner, Colonel Claiborne has 
drifted. At intervals, in bygone years, in regard to this 
matter, I have interrogated a number of aged persons, 
both whites and Choctaws, who knew or had seen Push- 
mataha, and all concurred in stating that he was a man 
of middle stature, about five feet nine or ten inches 
high, and of portly build. H. S. H. 

A Christian civilization, especially the Christian 
part of it — civilization without the Bible does not 
amount to much — has made great changes with the 
descendants of those brave and fierce and wronged 
Muscogees with whom the whites in Alabama and 
Georgia came into conflict. There is now before me 
a letterhead, the letter written in Indian Territory, De- 
cember 24, 1894, which contains the words: " Wetum- 
ka National Labor School,Col. Wm. Robison, Supt.,"and 
among the names of the faculty I find as matron, Miss 
Hannah Monahwee, who is a grand-daughter of that 
*noted chief who commanded the Creek warriors at the 
great battle of Tohopeka. His name written by some 
Menawa, by some Monahwee. And a grandson of the 
noted High Head Jim, as mentioned elsewhere, is a 
highly respected Methodist minister in the Territory, 
the Rev. William Jimboy. The introduction of Chris- 
tianity into the Creek, or as the educated Indians now 
write, the Muskogee Nation, opens an interesting 
chapter in the progress of the Gospel. No white mis- 
sionaries first bore the Gospel to them, but *' an old 
nogro named Billy " taught it to a young Indian man in 
the Indian Territory, Joseph Islands,and they two com- 
menced a work which, with the help of white mission* 

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aries, has been growing until now. See a little tract 
called u Joseph Islands, the Apostle of the Creek Indi- 
ans," written by Dr. I. T. Tichenor, published at the 
Maryland Baptist Mission Rooms 10 E. Payette street, 
Baltimore, Price, two cents. T. H. B. 

As connected with the real interests which it is 
hoped this history may promote, some extracts from 
letters written by a Presbyterian missionary in the In- 
dian Territory, Mrs. Robertson, will certainly be appro- 
priate in this Appendix. Some facts in regard to her I 
give first; and for these I am indebted, in part, to an in- 
teresting article in the Chaperone Magazine, of St. Louis, 
August, 1894, and in part to a letter written by herself 
in February, 1895. Mrs. A. E. W. Robertson, Ph. D., 
was the daughter of a distinguished missionary among 
the Cherokee Indians, Rev. S. A. Worcester, D. D., 
and was born near that noted Chicamauga River in 1826. 
She was educated as became a minister and a mission- 
ary's daughter, spending her years from sixteen to 
twenty in an academy in Vermont, where she learned 
the Greek language> and at the age of twenty, in 
1846, became teacher at Park Hill, Cherokee Nation, 
Indian Territory, and in 1850, April 16, she was mar- 
ried to Prof, W. S> Robertson, A. M., Principal of a 
then new "Manual Labor Boarding School," at Talla- 
hassee, among the Muscogees or Creeks. Since 1850 
she has devoted herself, besides caring for her husband 
and children, to the language and interests of the Creek 
Indians in Indian Territory, among whom she has resid- 
ed, her home now being at Muscogee. Her talents, her 
opportunities, and her devotion to her work have 
placed her high among the "famous women" of the 
land. The article in the August Chaperone is headed 
"Famous Women." From that article I quote the fol- 
lowing: "The subject of this sketch, Mrs. Ann Elisa 
Worcester Robertson, of Muscogee, Indian Territory, 
has had the very highest honor ever conferred upon 
woman, bestowed upon her by the Trustees of Wooster 
University, Ohio, namely, the title of Doctor of Philos- 
ophy, in recognition of her scholarly attainments es- 
pecially in linguistic studies, she having just completed 
a translation of the New Testament from the original 

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Greek into the Creek language. This work is the out- 
come of twelve years' labor." Much of her knowledge 
and skill, in translating, she gained while aiding her 
husband in his missionary work. She is an authority 
on the Greek language and is now translating the Old 
Testament. Some of the words of such a talented, noble, 
devoted, Christian woman, as written to her friend, H. 
S. Halbert, I am glad to have the privilege here to re- 
peat. Under date of July 19, 1894, she says: 

I am very glad you are giving Christian instruction 
to the Mississippi Choctaws. Nothing else will save 
the Indians, or, indeed, any people. Our "Five Tribes" 
here are in great trouble now on account of the per- 
sistence of the Dawes Commission in trying to get them 
to surrender their tribal rights in this Territory. The 
commission is giving special attention to the Choctaws, 
in the hope that they can do more with them than with 
the other tribes, but I think they make very little real 
headway, if, indeed, they are not causing, if possible, 
a stronger feeling against it than before. They under- 
stand full well that the United States cannot take the 
disposal of their lands into their hands (without their 
consent) without actual robbery, and the survivors of 
the emigration know by sad experience what it will be 
to have the Territory thrown open. I hope with all my 
heart they will persist in their refusal to have a hand 
in their own destruction, and leave the responsibility 
with the United States Government, if the breaking up 
must come. 

" The poor Florida Seminoles are not faring so well 
as your Choctaws, and I do feel for them. I am glad 
that Mississippi has room for the remaining Choctaws, 
and seems likely to protect them until they may become 
a truly Christian people. 

" But what is to become of our own great country? 
' The Lord reigneth* is the one comforting reply. 
" Sincerely your friend, 

"A. E. W. Robertson." 

Under date of December 26, 1894, she wrote: U I 
suppose you see many of the exaggerated or false reports 
about our territory, and know enough about the covet- 
ousness of our people [the whites] in regard to these 

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Indian lands, to understand that 'the wish is father to 
the thought/ They want our Government to have an 
excuse for robbing these tribes of their own territory. 
I hope you will ioin in the prayer that such a calamity 
may be averted." 

As late as January 28, 1895, Mrs. Robertson writes, 
after expressing her hope that covetous white people 
would not crowd in upon the Choctaws now in Missis- 
sippi. "Even the few Seminoles remaining in Florida 
are now suffering from the greed of white people; and 
it begins to look as if these Five Tribes are to be robbed . 
of their possessions in spite of their earnest protests." 

The work of spoliation still goes on. It has gone on 
since the days of the Pequods and Narragansetd. And 
ere long the prospect is — although the New York mil- 
lionaires.nyiy fit up their great parks like the European 
noblemen — that in all the broad area of these United 
States there will not be left one hunting ground where 
the American Indians can shoot the deer or spear the 
mink. But if our words could reach the halls of Con- 
gress wo would implore our statesmen there, if any with 
true hearts are left, to do justice, full and complete, to 
the descendants of the Southern Ohickasaws and Choc- 
taws, Cherokees and Creeks and Seminoles, and let not 
the greedy white man despoil them of their latest 


Old St. Stephens. 

The State of Alabama, admitted into the Union in 
December of 1819, has had, with the present seat of gov- 
ernment, four capitals, all situated on rivers. The first 
was St. Stephens on the Tombigbee. The second 
was Cahawba on the Alabama. The third was Tusca- 
loosa on the Black Warrior. The fourth is Montgomery 
on the Alabama. 

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Of the territorial and first State capital little is 
known by the youth of the present generation. 

South Alabama, once included in West Florida and 
still earlier in Louisiana, was first crossed by a band of 
European adventurers, (the Spaniards under DeSoto,) 
in October of 1540. It was next seen and taken into 
nominal possession by French explorers arid colonists in 
about the year 1700, the year in which was born at 
Coweta on the Chattahoochee, which is now in Alabama 
and was then in Louisiana, that Indian princess, Con- 
saponaheeso, better known as Mary, who became the 
friend of Oglethorpe and the Pocahontas of the Georgia 

In 1763 South Alabama passed into the ownership of 
Spain and then immediately was transferred to Great 
Britain. It came back into the possession of Spain as 
late as 1780, and in 1799 became a part of the Uuited 
States as far south as the line of latitude 31 degrees. 

In the early part of the eighteenth century, about 
1714, Fort St. Stephens was probably established .by the 
French. It was held by the Spanisn, who themselves 
built a fort, a church and a parsonage, from soon after 
1780 till 1799. 

In 1802 an American trading house was there estab- 
lished by our government for the Choctaw Indians, the 
Spanish block house being used for astore room and the 
parsonage of the Spanish church for storing the fur and 
the hides purchased from the Indians. 

In December 1804, the place was visited by the gifted 
and eccentric Lorenzo Dow, then passing as a flying 
evangelist through the narrow American settlement, 
seventy miles in length, which then skirted the "Tom- 
beckbee," Dow says that at St. Stephens there was but 
one family, "but it will be a place of fame in time." 

In 1807 town lots were laid off with streets over one 
hundred feet in width, inhabitants came in, a village 
and then a real town was formed, and in 1817 it became 
the territorial and afterward the State capital of the 
young Alabama. In 1818 it was visited by refugees 
from France, noted generals "who had won laurels on 
the proudest fields of European valor," and ladies 
"who had figured in the voluptuous drawing rooms of 

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St. Cloud," then on their way to their own Amer- 
ican settlement at Demopoli3. These found St. Stephens 
" a place of some size, with refined and lively inhabi- 
tants." A number of the earlier most noted public men 
of Alabama, who became lawyers, judges, senators, con- 
gressmen, coming as young men from the older States, 
began here their prosperous public career. But in 1820 
Cahawba on the Alabama became the new capital, and 
St. Stephens remained only as a county-seat, a place of 
trade and commerce, as being at the head of sloop navi- 
gation, and the seat of the United States land office. It 
is claimed that at this period it contained five 
thousand inhabitants. Others place the population 
at fifteen hundred. In 1821 decline began. The best 
buildings, built of brick, of stone, and of the character- 
istic fine white limestone of the region, were removed 
to Mobile. Another locality was selected even for the 
county seat, and about thirty years ago, as a dwelling 
place of the living, St. Stephens ceased to exist. As 
few state capitals in this broad land have become what 
this locality now is, let us look at this spot as it now 

In April of 1881, as a Southern tourist, it was my 
privilege to visit what is now called Old St. Stephens. 
The locality is on the west bank of the river, one hun- 
dred and twenty miles by water from Mobile, on the 
top of a large limestone bluff, one hundred or more feet 
in height, with walls of solid limestone down to the bed 
of the river. Honey bees for many years made their 
homes in the crevices of the rock, storing their honey 
out of the reach of man. Red cedar trees are abundant, 
skirting the edge of this rocky height, and back of 
these are pines and oaks, the locality of most of the old 
town being now well wooded. The following sentences 
are extracts from the journal record made in that soli- 
tude. April 12. "The flowers of spring are hero, even 
the yellow blossoms of the sorrel; the birds are here; the 
pleasant breeze, the sunshine and the shadows, for the 
day is not cloudless, the ever-flowing river, these all 
are here, as they were in the almost forgotten years; as 
in the years when on this height, where now I am 
alone, the youth and maidens walked in the cool of 



eventide; where but a little way from here were heard 
the merry voices of childhood, as boys and girls were 
playing in the now almost obliterated streets; where the 
hum of business from thirty stores was heard at midday; 
and where at nightfall mothers gathered their little ones 
in, and heard their prayers, and laid them to rest on 
their white couches, and night settled down over the 
town and the stars above gave light. But now solitude, 
grandeur, gloom, with the uncorrupted and undefiled 
magnificence and beauty of nature reign here." 

" A pathway leads across the site of the old town. 
The long line of what was probably the principal street 
is yet distinct. The rock foundations remain of many 
buildings that were probably showy and imposing in 
their day. Nearly every trace of any woodwork has 
disappeared ." 

Besides the yellow blossoms mentioned above I found 
in some places the rich green sward of the former streets 
and gardens and court-yards literally blue with some of 
the spring flowers of the South, and the warm, bright 
sunshine, then mantling everything with its own love- 
liness, made the day in those lone woods delightful. 
The old cemetery, where some distinguished and many 
nameless dead are sleeping, I found to be a place for in- 
structive meditation. It is on a high broad ridge, a 
roomy spot, as was fitting for a city burial ground. Many 
memorial stones are there. 

Five or six building spots can still be identified. 
These are the localities of the Spanish fort, of the Amer- 
ican fort and trading house, of the Crawford family 
mansion (the memorial monument standing near having 
cost five thousand dollars), of the old brick bank, and 
of the St. Stephens' Academy, the foundations of which 
I 'discovered in a field on a hill-top, a breezy and pleas- 
ant spot for study for the light-hearted and beautiful 
southern skirls of seventy years ago. 

This was the first chartered academy in what became 
Alabama, haying been chartered in 1811, the first Amer- 
ican school in Alabama, so far as is known, having been 
opened in this chain of river settlements in 1799. 

An extract from the journal, April«13, says: t4 The 
family homes and the business houses standing upon 

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the rock foundations which I observed yesterday, and 
upon the little earth hillocks, and along the lines of 
those dimly outlined streets among the pines and cedars 
and deciduous trees, cannot be specified by names. 
Little remains here of the works 01 man above the sur- 
face of the earth except the hard, dark-gray limestone 
rock, the brick work, and the memorial marble. French, 
Spanish, British, and American, and the long Indian 
times, have passed over this apparently sightly and at- 
tractive spot, but no human being dwells here now/' 
As I was waiting that day for a steamboat at the land- 
ing below the bluff, some hunters brought in two wild 
turkeys which they had just shot on the grounds of the 
old capital. 

Such is old St. Stephens now. Once containing, 
probably, a French, certainly a Spanish, and a noted 
American fort; a center of trade, when the nineteenth 
century was opening, for the brown Choctaws; a com- 
mercial town and cotton market for the early American 
settlers in South Alabama; for a time a gay capital, 
where the second newspaper of the present Alabama 
was started in 1814, the first steamboat company incor- 
porated in 1818, where was a bank, and an academy, and 
busy life; and now surrendered back to nature to be re- 
clothed in all her new and fresh and ever beautiful 

Not soon shall I forget the physical and intellectual 
enjoyment of those two days in the cheerful solitudes of 
Old St. Stephens. T. H. B. 


I had proposed to give here the meaning of a 
number of Indian names to be found in this book; but 
learning from a correspondence with Mrs. Eobertson of 
Iudian Territory, that, while many names have meanings 
easily recognized, the meanings of others, if they have 
any, elude careful study ; and learning from the writings 
of Mr. George Catlin, the great Indian painter, (who 
visited forty-eight tribes and secured about six hundred 

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paintings,) that "a great proportion of Indian names 
admit of no translation," I abandoned the attempt. 

Referring to a number of "proper names of tribes," 
Mrs. Robertson says that "the meaning is uncertain. " 
And Mr. Gatlin says that many names can no more 
be translated than can the English names of Jones, or 
Bailey, or Roberts, and other such names. He also says 
that interpreters often join to the names some qualifica- 
tions for which the individuals are distinguished as Oon- 
dischta, the salmon-spearer, as we would designate in 
English, "Jones, the shoemaker, or Jones, the butcher/' 
etc. But these designations are not the meanings of 
the Indian names, as we know they are not of the 
English. Mr. Oatlin further says "that most Indians 
of celebrity have a dozen or more names, which they 
use according to caprice or circumstances." One state- 
ment may be of interest here in regard to general 
"Indian Nomenclature." Changes have been made in 
names of tribes since the published lists of names of 
1822 and 1832, especially in the Office of Indian Affairs 
at Washington as names have been corrected and 
approved by Major J. W. Powell, chief of the 
Bureau of Ethnology. Major Powell says that a single 
name was often applied to different tribes, and he 
accounts for it, in part, from the fact that "the names 
for gentes, tribes, and comfederacies were confounded." 
See Smithonian Report for 1885. T, H. B. 


The list of Indian wars here given is not complete, 
but the principal ones are probably named. Those only 
are mentioned that were within the present United 
States. When the first settlements were made by the 
whites on the Atlantic coast, of course the " border " 
line was then there. As settlements have gone across 
to the Pacific, the line has been constantly changing. 

1. The Virginian Indian War, commencing at 
noon, March 12, 1622, when three hundred and fifty 

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whites were massacred, and continuing till the Virginia 
Indians were exterminated. 

2. The Pequod or Pequot War, 1637, ending in 
their extermination. 

3. King Philip's War, 1675, lasting three years. 

4. The Tuscarora War, 1712, in North Carolina, 
beginning, as did the war in Virginia, with a massacre 
of whites. 

5. The French and Indian wars, or Indian wars, 
instigated by the French, from 1688 till the Revolution, 
particularly in New Hampshire, extending with some 
intervals of peace, through a period of eighty years. 
Says Ramsey: "The colony of New Hampshire was 
among the greatest sufferers from Indian wars." 

6. The Maryland Indian War, commenced in 1642 
and lasted for several years. 

7. The Janodoa Indian War, also in Maryland, in 

8. The Yamassees War in South Carolina from 
1715 to 1718, commencing with a massacre. 

9. Cherokee wars in South Carolina from 1755 to 
1763. Also 1776. 

10. The general French and Indian War, 1755. 
Says Ramsay: "These wars took place, more or less, 
along the whole western frontier of the colonies, 
from New Hampshire to Georgia, and from the year 
1690 to the peace of Paris, 1763. Through that wide 
range, and for that long period of seventy-three years, 
with occasional intermissions, Indian hostilities, fo- 
mented by the French in the north and the Spaniards 
in the south, disturbed the peace and stinted the 
growth of the English colonies/' And Venable says: 

"In these early French and Indian wars 30,000 colo- 
nial soldiers perished, and $16,000,000 were expended/' 

11. Pontiac's War, 1763. 

12. Expeditions in 1779 destroying the Onondago 
settlements in April; in August and September ravag- 
ing the Mohawk country — "the quantity of corn de- 
stroyed was immense/' orchards were cut down, gar- 
dens laid waste; — and, also in August, an expedition 
from South Carolina against the Indians on their fron 
tier, destroying the corn of eight towns and driving 

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farther back the Indians. Also, in August and Sep- 
tember an expedition against the Mingo, Munsey, and 
Seneca Indians, destroying "five hundred acres of 

13. Another Cherokee War, 1781; General Pickens, 
leading three hundred and ninety-four horsemen burned 
thirteen towns and villages in fourteen days. 

14. Massacre of the Moravian towns by the whites, 
cruel and unprovoked, in 1782. Avenged in part by 
the Delawares, Wyandots, and other Indians, who met 
the whites on their way to destroy the Indian towns 
near Sandusky. 

15. Kentucky Indian War in the days of Daniel 
Boone, from 1769 to 1782. 

16. The Shawnee and Miami Indian War, General 
Harmar and General Arthur Saint Clair defeated, Gen- 
eral Wayne victorious, 1790 to 1795. 

In these various and constantly recurring wars there 
was much cruelty manifested on the part of Indians. 
And, says Ramsay, "On the other hand, there have 
been instances of justice, generosity, and tenderness, 
during these wars, which would have done honor to a 
civilized people." "They would sometimes carry chil- 
dren on their arms and shoulders; feed their prisoners 
with the best of their provisions; and pinch themselves 
rather than their captives should want food. When 
sick or wounded, they would afford them comfort and 
means for their recovery. But the most remarkably 
favorable circumstance in an Indian captivity was their 
decent behavior to women. There is no evidence that 
any woman who fell into their hands was ever treated 
with the least immodesty; but testimonies to the con- 
trary are very frequent. Whatever may'be the cause the 
fact is certain; and it was a most happy circumstance 
for female captives that, in the midst of all their dis- 
tresses, they had no reason to fear from a savage foe 
the perpetration of a crime which has too frequently 
disgraced, not only the personal, but the national char- 
acter of those who make large pretences to civilization 
and humanity/' — Ramsay, Vol. I., page 289. 

The same kind of testimony is given by Luzerne Ray 
in "Indian Miscellany/' page 292. He says: "During 

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the wars which he so frequently and fiercely waged 
against the whites, many of their wives and daughters 
were taken captive and carried into his own country. 
Although these prisoners were entirely at his disposal; 
although they were subject to insult and injury of every 
other kind; there is yet no instance recorded of the 
perpetration of that violence which female virtue reck- 
ons worse than death/' 

We now enter the nineteenth century. 

17. Tecumseh's War, 1811. 

18. The Creek War of 1813 and 1814k _ 

19. The First Seminole War, 18121 

20. The Black Hawk War, 1832. 

21. The Second Seminole War, from 1834 to 1842. 
In this war Osceola became noted. 

22. The Creek War of 1836, 

23 . The Indian War or "Indian Trouble," in Oregon 
and Washington, 1855, 1856. 

24. The Modoc War of 1872 and 1873. 

25. The Sioux War of 1876 . 

The raid of the Cheyennes or Shiyans of 1878 in 
Kansas and Nebraska, and troubles with other Indians 
in these later years are not here enumerated. 

Thus, for a hundred and fifty years of colonial times, 
and through a hundred years of national life, wars with 
the Indians have been carried on; and the end is not 
yet. The origin of the aborigines or Eed Men of these 
United States, so different in some respects as they are 
from all the other great divisions of the human family, 
is yet unknown; but their extermination seems to be 
written all over the land in characters of blood. "Noth- 
ing, apparently, can save the scanty remnants of the 
broken tribes that yet remain but the protection, the 
mercy, the grace of God. In a Christian civilization 
rests their only hope of avoiding a complete and utter 
extinction in the broad land of their forefathers. 

T. H. B. 

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Population of the Five Indian Nations, furnished by 
Mrs. A. E. W. Robertson, of Muscogee, Indian Terri- 
tory, February, 1895. 






Choctaw . . .> 














Haying had the responsibility and also the mental 
pleasure of seeing this book " through the press," of 
aiding in the proof reading, and of seeing to the "make 
up," as well as bearing a part of the responsibility of 
authorship, I wish here to recognize some special obli- 

fations and to return some special thanks. First of all 
may mention the great courtesy and kindness shown 
by the different ones connected with the large printing 
establishment of Messrs. Donohue & Henneberry, who 
are not only publishers, but who carry on one of the 
very largest printing and binding houses of the country 
and of the world. I return thanks to them. And I 
return special thanks to the astronomer of the Harvard 
College Observatory, to Mr. H. W. Beckwith, to Mrs. 
B. B. Cheshire, to General T. J. Morgan and his offi- 
cials in the Indian Bureau, to Mr. Charles Weather- 
ford, to Mrs. Peebles, to Mr. Barron of Montgomery, to 
Mrs. A. E. W. Robertson, to Judge H. Austill, to Mr. 
Isaac Grant, to Rev. J. H. Creighton r and to my nephew, 
young Jamie Chapman, of Jackson, Alabama, the last 
one named having procured for me the likeness of Mr. 

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Isham Kim bell. Also I return thanks to the post- 
master at Burnt Corn for the use of a history of Cone- 
cuh county and to Capt. P. D.Bowles of Evergreen. Also 
to Col. J. W. Portis of Suggsville. For special courte- 
sies I return thanks to the Librarian of the State Li- 
brary at Indianapolis, the Librarian of the Illinois His- 
torical society, and to the lady in charge at the New- 
berry Library of Chicago. Some of these may possibly 
not be living when this book passes out from the hands 
of the binders, but so far as I know, at the date of this 
writing, they are all where words of recognition and of 
thanks can reach them. T. H. Ball. 


Annie B., the Dying Girl. A small, handsomely 
bound book, of 48 pages, on heavy white paper, 
edges all gilded. Price by mail, 50 cents. A beau- 
tiful gift book. 

The following are some notices which have reached 
the author: 1. From the Hammond Tribune, " Book 
Notes. 'Annie B., the Dying Girl/ from the pen of Rev. 
T. H. Ball, of Crown Point, Indiana, is a dramatic poem 
with a purpose and an excellent purpose at that. As 
the title shows, it is a story told in verse, of a young 
girl whose young life is slowlv ebbing away. In it four 
life-like characters figure: An old gray-haired family 
physician, the spiritual adviser, Annie B., and her 
faithful lover, Edward G." 

"To tell the story which runs through the work one 
would have to quote the entire poem. Suffice it to say 
that it is seldom so much of poetic and dramatic inter- 
est centers on a young woman as in 'Annie B.' It is a 
tender, clean and interesting poem well told and worthy 
of reading. There is food for deeper thought in the 
story, and it will be found by serious readers to be the 
breath and finer spirit of a thoughtful man, and to 
carry with it a noble lesson of human sympathy and 
Jofty ideals of mind and of duty " 

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2. From the President of Franklin College. " 'Annie 
B.' came to hand yesterday, and I read it at a sitting. 
It is an excellent little poem/' 

3. From W. H. Levering, former President of In- 
diana S. S. Union, "The little volume, 'Annie B., the 
Dying Girl', came, and I have read it with pleasure and 
profit. It is a beautiful lesson, drawn from a beautiful 
life, beautifully told, and will be a beautiful legacy to 
youth when thou art called 'to mansions in the skies/ 
It is also a beautiful souvenir. * * * 

Mrs. Levering joins me in warm regard and best 
wishes. She has read 'Annie B.' and gives high com- 
mendation ." 

4. From Miss B. B., of Chicago. Eef erring to the 
book she writes: "1 really think I received more good 
from it than any other book besides the Bible. I read it 
over and over, and thank you very much for sending it 
to me." 

• 5. From Mrs. C. A. : "I read it all through soon 
after it was brought home. It is a lovely poem. 

6. From Mrs. M. E. C, of Alabama: "It is surely a 
beautiful poem, so full and expressive. It is numbered 
with my treasures." 

7. From Mrs. M. H. C, of Alabama: "The story 
and its teachings are beautiful — even the binding, the 
type, the finish is lovely. * * * We all have en- 
joyed reading it. Hope the author will live to write 
many such good thoughts. " 

8. From Miss L. W. "lam delighted with it, and 
think the book will do much good/' 

The Guidance of the Holy Spirit in Interpret- 
ing Scripture. By T. H. Ball. This is a pamphlet, 
pages 25, paper cover, price by mail 20 cents. 

Says Rev. Dr. Hovey, President of Newton Theologi- 
cal Institution: "This is an excellent discussion, full 
of 'sweetness and light/ I do not see how it could be 
'improved in substance or form or temper. * * * 
The subject examined is one of peculiar interest at the 
present time, and the treatment of it is at once vigor- 
ous, direct, and solid. " 

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The Lake of the Bed Cedars. By T. H. Ball. 
Pages 357, 12mo. Price, by mail, 75 cent*. 

1. Prom the Journal and Messenger : " The glimpse 
of the home at the lake is a charming one. The book 
is written in a clear, straightforward style, by one evi- 
dently accustomed to the use of the pen." 

2. From the Sunday School Times : €i It gives much 
interesting information, chiefly of a denominational and 
local character." 

Notes ok Luke's Gospel. By T. H. Ball. Pages 120, 
well bound, price 50 cents. 
The press notices of this book are not now at hand. 
It differs from all other commentaries in this, that it 
makes a point in every chapter to discriminate between 
general and limited or special teachings. 

A Glance into the Great Southeast, or Clarke 

County, Alabama, and its Surroundings. Prom 1540 

to 1877. Number of pages 782. 

A few copies of this large work may yet be obtained 

from Mrs. E. H. Woodard, Grove Hill, Alabama, 

Price by mail $2.50. 

Any of the other books can be obtained by sending to 
T. H. Ball, Crown Point, Indiana. 

The Cbeek War of 1813 and 1814. 

In Alabama send orders to White, Woodruff & Fowler, 

Those elsewhere send to Donohue & Henneberry, but 
address all orders or inquiries " Creek War," Box 79, 
Crown Point, Indiana, and they will receive prompt 
attention. Single copies sent by mail to any address on 
receipt of $1.50. Address as above. 

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The Following Address or Paper is placed here for 
Citizens of Alabama, 


prepared fob the alabama historical society 
june, 1883. 

I closed up my last work as a teacher in Clarke 
county, Alabama, in the summer of 1883. I was hop- 
ing to attend the annual meeting of the Historical So- 
ciety at Tuscaloosa that summer, and so prepared a pa- 
per or an address which I expected to have the privilege 
of reading. I was disappointed in regard to attending 
that anniversary; so the address was laid away and ten 
years have passed along. I have not been able to re- 
visit Alabama since, but having received many courte- 
sies and kindnesses there, and feeling that I have much 
interest in common with the historical writers and 
literary men of Alabama, I take the liberty to place this 
historical paper here, as a prepared but unread address, 
hoping that it will prove an acceptable contribution to 
the interests which it was designed to promote. 

T. H. B. 

Crown Point, 1893. 

Note. — I find on a final reading of electrotype proof 
the word Maubila printed Manbila. Please read all 
through this paper Maubila. 

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Not far from the center of the county of Clarke, in 
the State of Alabama, is a beautiful landscape. 

Born as I was in the most fertile portion of the Con- 
necticut Eiver Valley, in the heart of New England, 
nine miles south of Mount Tom, amid the historic towns 
of North-Hampton and Springfield, Westfield and Chic- 
opee, in what is now the Indian named town of Aga- 
wam, a descendant of Puritans and Huguenots, with 
ancestral homes going back to 1640, — it is quite possible 
thut this land soap > possesses more attractions for me be- 
cause it includes, what was the Bassett's Creek Valley 
home from 1835 to 1855, of an Alabama maiden, whose 
destiny thenceforward was to be linked in with mine 
for life, and, perhaps, in some sort, forever. 

Nevertheless, that landscape view is beautiful, aside 
from all personal or all historical associations. And as 
I have stood on its western height, near the 
site of the old Port Sinqnefield, in spring time, 
in summer, and in autumn, and have looked 
eastward over the two slopes, and along the Bassett's 
Creek valley, looking upon the varied green hues of long- 
leaf pine and short-leaf pine, of the rich vegetable 
growth of th6 creek bottom, especially when an October 
sun was pouring its warmth and brightness down upon 
every growing and living thing, and upon the sand 
and gravel and clay beds and rock that character- 
ize this region, mantling everything with the brightness 
and beauty of sunlight, — I have thought of the historic 
interest connected with this then bright landscape; a 
landscape amid the scenes of which there dwelt three 
hundred and fifty years ago the sisters of the beautiful 
dancing girls who fought and fell at old Manbila; within 
sight of the eastern crest of which passed in 1540 Span- 
ish invaders; where afterwards came French traders; 
then Creek and Choctaw Indian strife reddened the 
hillsides; and at length came children of American 
pioneers, whose young hearts were upwards drawn €t by 
influence sweet, " and who learned to send their fervent 
prayers upward to the eternal throne: but where, espe- 
cially in September of 1813, soon after the horrible 
massacre at Fort Mims, Indian atrocities were expe- 
rienced and peculiar incidents occurred. 

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But before we examine the spots reddened in 1813 
with blood, let us look away in thoughtfrom the eastern 
height toward the blue line of the winding Alabama. 
Between us and that not very distant blueish-green 
wood, in October of 1540, there might have been seen 
strange looking bands of warrior men loitering and 
hastening southward. Who and what were they? De 
Soto, Hernando or Ferdinand De Soto, of Spain, and 
Tuskaloosa, the Alabama Tuskaloosa, and their fol- 

To introduce the few statements which I wish to 
make concerning the great battle of 1540, allow me to 
present a few words from some historical writers. 

Quackenbos, in his school history, a work used in 
Alabama, says of De Soto, page 56, "Landing at Tampa 
Bay with six hundred chosen men clad in complete 
armor, he marched boldly into the wilderness in search 
of gold and slaves. " On page 57 he says, "In the fall 
of 1540 the invaders found themselves on the site now 
occupied by the city of Mobile." And here Quackenbos 
says that the great battle took place in which twenty- 
five hundred natives were killed. And this is taught to 
many of the children of Alabama as true American 

That De Soto and his men were not in the fall of 
1540 where is now the city of Mobile it is needless at 
present to attempt to show. The question with which 
I am now concerned is, Was that battle of 1540 in the 
present limits of Clarke county? 

Charles Gayarre says, referring to "two ponderous 
volumes" in which "the historian relates the thousand 
incidents of that romantic expedition," "one thousand 
men of infantry and three hundred and fifty men of 
cavalry fully equipped were landing in proud array 
under the command of Hernando De Soto at Tampa 
Bay, May 31, 1539. 

It is a little singular that from the same authorities, 
if authorities there are, writers should differ so widely 
in regard to the number of that invading force. But 
they differ also in regard to the death of De Soto, 
Quackenbos stating that he died on the bank of the 
Mississippi among the Natchez Indians, and that "The 

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surviving Spaniards wandered as far south as the forests 
and plains of Texas, turned their course north and 
* * * reached the Mississippi Eiver near the mouth 
of the Red." Here, he states, they built some boats 
and went down the river; and T. B. Thorpe asserting 
that De Soto himself embarked in the "rude brigan- 
tines" already constructed further up, and died at the 
mouth of Red River. Gayarre agrees with Thorpe in 
representing De Soto's death as taking place at the 
mouth of Red River, but whether before or after the 
boats were built he does not say. Is it not possible for 
historians to reach something more accurate than such 
conflicting accounts? And shall we, rejecting both 
these, accept the representation of our own Pickett that 
De Soto having reached the Mississippi River in May, 
1541, returned to the river from his western wander- 
ings in the latter part of May, 1542, below the mouth 
of the Arkansas River, that engaging in the 
construction of two brigantines he there died, and 
that Morcoso with the remaining troops left the 
river June 1, in order to reach Mexico through 
the western wilderness, and failing in that re- 
turned to the Mississippi in December 1542, fifty miles 
above where DeSoto died, and building there seven 
brigantines departed down the river in July, 1543. 

Returning to the expedition of DeSoto and the bat- 
tle of 1540; I give one more quotation. Stephens says, 
in his Pictorial History of the United States, page 169, 
"The number of his followers is not definitely stated; 
Bancroft says, 'they were a numerous body of horsemen, 
besides infantry, completely armed; a force exceeding in 
number and equipments the famous expeditions against 
the empires of Mexico and Peru/" Now, unless Ban- 
croft had some idea of the actual number of DeSoto's 
men, how could he know they exceeded in number the 
followers of Cortes and Pizarro ? And when Stephens 
says the number is not definitely stated, he means by 
whom? Surely Pickett states the number very definitely, 
and so do Quackenbos and Gayarre. And what was 
Pickett's authority? What was Bancroft's? I raise 
here two questions the examination of which will corn- 
prise all I may take time to say about the events of 1540. 

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Is there sufficient evidence to authorise the historians of 
Clarke to claim that on her soil was fought the great bat- 
tie of Manbila, October 18, 1540? And further, have we 
sufficient evidence that there ever was such a battle? ever 
an expedition headed by DeSoto? ever a discovery of the 
Mississippi before the days of the explorers from France? 
Som* examination of the second question is needful in 
answering the first. I crave a little indulgence in re- 
peating some foundation principles. History is written 
either by eyewitnesses or by those who get their knowl- 
edge from the same as eyewitnesses, at second, third, or 
fourth hand. There may be many removes, but all 
common history must go back at last for its authority 
to those who stood as actors or eyewitnesses of the events. 
An acknowledged, received Gospel history, even, speaks 
of the things most surely believed among the early 
Christains "even as they delivered them unto to us, 
which from the beginning were eyewitnesses." Now, 
whoever proposes to give historic facts out of his own 
range of knowledge, or which took place before his own 
day, must have as his authority one or many between 
himself and the events which he records or transmits. 
Stephens refers to Bancroft. Bancroft had between him- 
self and DeSoto one or more. Going no further in this 
line of thought I inquire, who are the eyewitnesses, or 
who give us the words of the eyewitnesses in regard to 
this Spanish expedition? Pickett tells us that he pro- 
cured from England and France three independent ac- 
counts of that expedition. One was written by a 
Portuguese, who accompanied DeSoto, a second was 
written by Biedma, the commissary of DeSoto, and the 
third by a Peruvian Inca, Garcellano De La Vega, 
who obtained his knowledge from two journals kept 
by some followers of De Soto, and from the lips of a 
cavalier who was in the expedition. Two of these are 
original and one is a second hand account, one is Span- 
ish and one is Portuguese testimony, and the third is 
Spanish collected and transmitted by a Peruvian Span- 
iard or a Spanish Peruvian. Had Stephens anything 
else ? Had Bancroft anything else ? Spanish records 
may exist in regard to the expedition when leaving 
Spain, when leaving Cuba, when the shattered remnant 

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returned to Cuba, but of the expedition itself is it not 
clearly the testimony of these or nothing ? The next 
question then would be concerning the credibility of these 
three documents. Are they entitled to our belief ? Are 
they, like the works of some American historians, 
colored, overdrawn ? And, if colored, how much? There 
are particulars in which I think we may detect some 
Spanish and Peruvian coloring, but as these do not con- 
cern my main question I leave them undisturbed, with 
only the passing remark, that if this La Vega, when 
his statements were examined and sifted, was. good 
authority for Prescott in regard to the conquest of 
Peru, he is equally good for us in regard to De Soto. I 
claim here and now, that there is sufficient testimony, 
making what allowance we may for coloring, if we 
believe that De Soto was ever here at all, to believe that 
he led here a thousand men, and the very definitely 
stated number of at least two hundred and thirteen 

While I should like to pursue this question further, I 
leave it now for the other, the question of locality. Did 
the- battle of Manbila, according to the Spanish account 
transmitted to us by Pickett, occurring October 18,1540, 
take place in what is now Clarke county? Can we of 
Clarke lay full claim to this as one of our recognized, 
historic events? 

That De Soto and his men were at Tallasse on the 
Tallapoosa September 18, 1540, seems from the account 
of his expedition to be beyond doubt, and this Tallasse 
is a locality well established, as on the opposite side of 
the river the Muscogees built their town of Tookabatchee, 
preserving the name of Tallasse until their removal in 
1836. Remaining at this old Indian town some 
twenty days, the Spanish invaders crossed the 
Tallapoosa and marched for some days down the 
eastern side of the river and came to its bank again, 
now having become the Alabama, when they crossed to 
the western side. Pickett refers to Biedma as saying 
that the forces of De Soto spent two days in crossing 
this river, and the locality of the crossing is not cer- 
tainly known. It can only be conjectured. But the 
invaders were now certainly on the west side of the 

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Alabama, and judging from the time occupied on the 
march from Tallasse they must have been near or within 
the present county of Wilcox. They then marched 
southward three days, and on the morning of the fourth, 
October 18, they reached Manbila. And this large 
Indian town with an eastern and a western gate, was on 
a beautiful plain by the side of a large river, surely the 
same river which the Spaniards had crossed some four 
days before. And on this plain was "a large pool of 
delicious water fed by many springs. " Where could 
this town have been, then, but in the present county of 
Clarke? The Spaniards were, as we now know, after 
they crossed the Alabama, between two quite large 
rivers, which finally coming together make a yet larger 
one the Mobile; and without crossing the Tombigbee or 
recrossing the Alabama, there was no possible advance 
southward beyond the limits of Clarke county. As the 
Spanish forces were thus shut in between two rivers, 
ignorant as they must have been of the geography of 
the region, we seem to be confined to the conclusion 
that Manbila was in the present county of Clarke, how- 
ever ignorant we may be of its precise locality. It was 
near the river, and from its having an eastern and a 
western gate it may be inferred that it stood upon a 
northern bank. Such a bank it is not difficult to find 
on the winding Alabama. Can the plain, can the 
springs and the pool of water be found? Wells and 
water pools may remain in the Orient unchanged for 
thousands of years; but in this western world, where 
we talk sometimes about "forests primeval," we cannot 
expect to find an Indian pool as it existed three hundred 
years ago. This is a land of change. The large water 
courses change, and new springs burst forth. But the 
plain may remain, although now it may be covered with 
a forest growth. There is not much vegetation in Clarke 
that is venerable with the growth of three hundred 
years. Our large pines have been growing something 
more than two hundred years. Our cypresses and 
cedars may some of them be older. 

Two special localities have been selected as the proba- 
ble site qf the old capital town of Tuskaloosa's dominions. 
In favor of one of these, the locality adopted by Pickett 

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known as Choctaw Bluff, there are mainly some Indian 
traditions, or, as he says, " representations of aged In- 
dians and Indian countrymen," that there the great bat- 
tle was fought. Such representations are not to be 
lightly set aside. But in favor of the other locality, 
where is found the name Manbila on the map of Clarke, 
some different considerations are urged. The distance of 
either locality from Pensacola on the south, from the 
place where the Spaniards crossed the Alabama on the 
north, makes very little difference in the comparative 
claims of each, as they are only about nine miles apart, 
and from each locality to Pensacola in a straight line it is 
not more than seventy-five miles. The Peruvian and 
Portuguese chroniclers of the expedition computed the 
distance from Manbila to the Bay to be eighty -five miles. 
In favor of the locality marked Manbila, known also as 
French's Landing, are these considerations, the springs, 
and streams at the two places being very much alike . 
(1) Spanish bridle-bits, many arrow heads, and much pot- 
tery have been found here. (2) There is here an old 
burial ground. Bones have been washed out from the 
bank, and parts of bones and well-preserved teeth have 
been found. (3) A great many bullets have been found 
here, at one time more than a peck measure full were 
found. (4) There is an artificial mound here, called an In- 
dian mound, circular, some forty feet in diameter. These 
facts I obtained from County Commissioner J. M. Jack 
son, of Clarke county, a very reliable man, who lived on 
this spot for some years, and whom I visited in his home 
at Grainestown three miles southwest of this supposed 

To review that fierce and terrible battle is not a part 
of the design of this paper, but only to look for the bat- 
tle-field and to lay claim to it, in behalf of the county 
of Clarke, forever, that is, as long as Alabama and 
American history shall endure. 

This being accomplished, let us return to the west- 
ern slope of the sheltered and beautiful Bassetts Creek 
Valley. Here is some true Alabama historic ground. 
Here was the Kimbell- James massacre of September 1, 
1813; and here was the heroic defence of Port Sinque- 

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field when attacked by Francis and his hundred warriors 
on the next day of that same memorable and bloody 
year. And although that massacre was but one of a 
thousand less or more of such atrocities committed by 
American Indians on frontier white settlers from the 
days of the Virginia colonists in 1609 to very recent 
times, extending over New England, along the Atlantic 
coast, in Kentucky when that was known as the dark 
and bloody ground, and in Minnesota and the far West, 
even over on the Pacific slope, yet, as one of a thou- 
sand, it has connected circumstances which give it in- 
dividual interest in Alabama and Southeastern and 
American history. The historic incidents here may 
therefore now be briefly reviewed and re-set.* * * 
It is true that this is but one among many Alabama 
historic spots. I do not propose to claim for it anything 
more than its real merit demands. It is not where was 
fought any of "the thirty battles " in that year of both 
British and Indian strife. It is not where any action 
was performed to make for men a Thermopylae or a 
Bunker Hill forever. I know the influence of such 
spots. In August, of 1881, alone in Charlestown, pass- 
ing up the slope to the tall granite monument on that 
hill which is now called Bunker, I met a Massachusetts 
boy and talked with him about Warren and the British 
of 1775; and perhaps an hour afterwards I took a wist- 
ful little girl, a pleasant, winsome, stranger maiden, who 
needed an attendant, to the top of that tower among 
the throng of visitors, and enjoyed her emotion and de- 
light as well as my own as we looked land- 
ward and seaward from that great height. I have walked 
on the green sward at Lexington and have read the 
names on the monumental stone of those who there fell on 
that historic 19th of April. And I have stood where the 
Eimbell and James families were massacred, where now 
more fitting surroundings could not well be, and on the 
site of the stockade fort, and have walked up and down 
the long pathway to the Sinquefield spring, and 1 claim 
that hero events transpired making this one of the true 

♦As the Kimbell-James massacre has been given in fil. 
work, it is omitted here. 

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historic spots of our land. The prophet Francis, lead- 
ing a hundred warriors, was not like Weatherford with 
his thousand, nor like Xerxes with his million. But to 
the inmates of that stockade it meant death; and death 
by Indian barbarity, whether to many or to few,is no lit- 
tle thing. And right nobly, on the second day of Sep- 
tember, 1813, was the Indian band repulsed. At Fort 
Mims there had been shameful neglect and recklessness. 
Here were the vigilant as well as the brave. And 
although the massacre of the two households was but 
one among a thousand, some of the incidents were cer- 
tainly peculiar, and this was the only family massacre 
within this ellipse of fifty miles by thirty, as Sinquefield 
was the only one of these river settlement stockades 
attacked by the Indians after the fall of Fort Mims. 
Therefore, in Alabama annals, its name must be per- 
petually preserved. When a September, or still better 
an October sun, a few hours before nightfall, is shining 
over this landscape region,then is it a fitting time to go 
down the western slope, to cross the rippling brook, 
still shaded as of yore with the- native lowland growth, 
a foliage so rich in its semi-tropical luxuriance, listen- 
ing for a moment to the flow of the cooling waters over 
the pebbles,and then going up near the elevation where 
stood the Oreighton home, to look southward into the 
dark pine grove, where once was the dwelling of the 
Kimbells. And that sudden onslaught of the Indians 
there was — or will be when September comes — just sev- 
enty years ago. In only thirty years from now, in 1913, 
will be the first centennial of the events of that memo- 
rable year. I do not expect to be here then: but I have 
an only son who, if he lives, will be then just where I 
am now in life, not yet past its prime ; and he, loving 
the beautiful, the good, the heroic, the true historic, 
will be ready to stand in his father's place in whatever 
may be in Alabama the celebrations of that year. 

(Surely in thirty years from now we shall be a nation 
of Americans. We shall have learned anew what forty- 
five years ago, in this place I think, Judge Meek so 
beautifully expressed in his poem, "The Day of Free- 
dom," "To love alike all portions of our land." Dear to 
me is the favored region where I was born, in the old 

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Bay State, in that rich valley of wealth and crowded 
cities ; dear also to me is that milder southern valley 
where was born that maiden referred to in this paper ;* 
and very dear to me is the Lake of the Eed Cedars 
where my youth was spent, and where was born that 
only son: but on every spot of American soil Hook with 
interest as a part of my country, my own native land, 
on every historic spot I tread with emotion, on every 
beautiful landscape I look with gratitude and love, 
a love which, I trust, for all the blessings we so richly 
share, goes in its fullness up to God.) 

I repeat that in thirty years from now there will be 
for us a centennial year. And as there are very few liv- 
ing, even now, among us who can relate as eyewitnesses 
the events of 1813, and soon there will be not one, what 
I propose for us of Clarke is: first, that we teach the 
children of the State that the great Indian battle of 
1540, with its disastrous results, was fought, not where 
is now the city of Mobile, but in that triangular region 
known as the county of Clarke; and then,that some suit- 
able granite monuments or marble slabs, something less 
perishable than wood,be placed where they may perpetuate 
the^ad massacre, the brave repulse of September 1st 
and 2d, 1813, and the spot at Bashi where Colonel 
McGrew and his brave men fell, so that they may tell 
to the passing traveller and to the inquiring visitor, when 
there is no human tongue to speak, here is historic 
ground; here fell the helpless, and here fought and fell 
the brave. 

And to the members of this Historical Society of 
Alabama I have only to add, that while we of Clarke do 
claim the battle-ground of certainly one of the most 
fierce and bloody and destructive conflicts ever waged 
with Indians in North America; and also claim to have 
made with our cordon of stockades and our pioneer 
soldiers a resolute and successful defense on the "edge 
of the storm," when Muscogee ferocity threatened the 
entire destruction of the Alabama River, Tombigbee, 
and Tensaw settlers; we are well aware that the fierce 
conflicts of 1813 were fought on other ground; and we 

♦Martha C. Creighton. 

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trust that your efforts will result in securing and placing 
in imperishable form the records pertaining both to 
peace and to conflict, to suffering and to success, which 
are yet to be obtained in various parts of our great 
State; and thus you will transmit to the coming genera- 
tions the worthy deeds of pioneers and faithful toilers 
through the first hundred years of Alabama American 
occupancy. Gentlemen of this society, citizens of 
Alabama, let not the memory of such deeds pass away 
into forgetfulness. For we are drawing nearer and 
nearer to the time when worthy human actions, instead 
of being buried in the dark night of oblivion forever, 
will be set forth before the intelligent universe in the 
bright light of an eternal day. 

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The nature of this work does not seem to require a very full 
index of the various items that make up each chapter, and the 
interest of the readers will, probably, be best promoted by fol- 
lowing the order of the pages instead of arranging the particulars 
in alphabetical order. 


The Choctaw Muscogee Tribes". 19 

Causes of the Creek War 25 

Lachlan McGillivray 26 

Sehoy Marchand 27 

A Port Stoddart Marriage ... 30 

Map of Mississippi Territory 33 

Tecumseh Among the Choctaws 40 

Moshulitubbee 42 

Hoentubbee 42 

Mokalusa 45 

Pierre Juzan 47 

David Folsom .., 51 

Tecumseh Among the Creeks 58 

Tecumseh's Speech Examined 69 

Letter of Mrs. Cheshire 75 

Letter from Department of the Interior v 76 

Letter from H. W. Beckwith 81 

The War Cloud Gathering 85 

Extracts from Am. State Papers 85 

Letter of General Wilkinson 89 

Deposition of Samuel Manac 91 

Letter of General Flournoy 95 

Weatherford Joins the War Party 96 

Map of Creek Country 98 

Hostile Creeks 99 

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The Friendly Creeks 100 

Memoranda of George S. Gaines 101 

Tandy Walker 102 

Mrs. Crawley 104 

The Stockades 105 

Fort Madison 109 

Turnerand Easely Forts 112 

Mrs. Cathell 117 

Mrs. Cammack 117 

Inter-Tribal Councils of Creeks and Choctaws 120 

The Battle of Burnt Corn 125 

The Battle Ground 133 

Colonel Caller and Major Wood 140 

FortMims 143 

Mrs. Vicey McGirth 158 

List of Survivors 100 

Burial of the Dead 162 

Dixon Bailey 164 

Cornells 165 

Escape of Page 166 

Claiborne on Bravery 168 

Mrs. Peebles Letter 170 

Charles Weatherfoid's Letter 173 

The Kimbell-James Massacre , 177 

View of Bassett's Creek Valley 181 

Likeness of Isham Kimbell 183 

Attack on Fort Sinquefield 184 

Approach of the Indians 187 

Hayden's Dog Charge 188 

The Indians Retreat 195 

The Night Courier 200 

The Fort Madison Light 203 

Judge Meek's Description of these Settlers 204 

Incidents of the War in the Fork 206 

The Fishers 207 

Phil Creagh's Captivity 208 

Ben Arundel's Death 210 

Choctaws and Chickasaws Join the Am. Army 211 

Anecdotes of Pushmataha . . 216 

The Bashi Skirmish 219 

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Beard and Tandy Walker. , 223 

The Canoe Fights ! 229 

Likeness of Major Austill 240 

Battle of the Holy Ground 241 

Weatherford'sLeap 253 

General Woodward's Version 254 

Pushmataha's Exploit 260 

The War in the Indian Country 266 

White Barbarity 276 

Closing Events 279 

Treaty of Port Jackson r 282 

Conclusion 28? 

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